Stiff Stiff, a. [Compar. {Stiffer}; superl. {Stiffest}.] [OE. stif, AS. st[=i]f; akin to D. stijf, G. steif, Dan. stiv, Sw. styf, Icel. st[=i]fr, Lith. stipti to be stiff; cf. L. stipes a post, trunk of a tree, stipare to press, compress. Cf. {Costive}, {Stifle}, {Stipulate}, {Stive} to stuff.] 1. Not easily bent; not flexible or pliant; not limber or flaccid; rigid; firm; as, stiff wood, paper, joints. [1913 Webster]

[They] rising on stiff pennons, tower The mid a["e]rial sky. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. Not liquid or fluid; thick and tenacious; inspissated; neither soft nor hard; as, the paste is stiff. [1913 Webster]

3. Firm; strong; violent; difficult to oppose; as, a stiff gale or breeze. [1913 Webster]

4. Not easily subdued; unyielding; stubborn; obstinate; pertinacious; as, a stiff adversary. [1913 Webster]

It is a shame to stand stiff in a foolish argument. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

A war ensues: the Cretans own their cause, Stiff to defend their hospitable laws. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

5. Not natural and easy; formal; constrained; affected; starched; as, stiff behavior; a stiff style. [1913 Webster]

The French are open, familiar, and talkative; the Italians stiff, ceremonious, and reserved. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

6. Harsh; disagreeable; severe; hard to bear. [Obs. or Colloq.] ``This is stiff news.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

7. (Naut.) Bearing a press of canvas without careening much; as, a stiff vessel; -- opposed to {crank}. --Totten. [1913 Webster]

8. Very large, strong, or costly; powerful; as, a stiff charge; a stiff price. [Slang] [1913 Webster]

{Stiff neck}, a condition of the neck such that the head can not be moved without difficulty and pain. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Rigid; inflexible; strong; hardly; stubborn; obstinate; pertinacious; harsh; formal; constrained; affected; starched; rigorous. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stiff — may refer to:*Stiffness, a material s resistance to bending *Stiff differential equation, an equation that exhibits behaviour at two widely different scales (the differential equations describing stiff materials are stiff differential equations)… …   Wikipedia

  • stiff — [stɪf] verb [transitive] informal to not pay someone money that you owe them or that they expect to be given, for example by not leaving a tip in a restaurant see also working stiff * * * Ⅰ. stiff UK US /stɪf/ adjective ► …   Financial and business terms

  • stiff — [stif] adj. [ME stif < OE, akin to Ger steif < IE * stip , a pole, stick together (var. of base * steib(h) , rod) > L stipes, stem, stake, log, stipare, to crowd, cram] 1. hard to bend or stretch; rigid; firm; not flexible or pliant 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • Stiff — bezeichnet: Stiff Records, ein britisches Independent Label Stiff Little Fingers, eine Punkband aus Belfast Stiff man Syndrom, eine neurologische Krankheit Stiff Upper Lip, ein Albumtitel von AC/DC Stiff ist der Familienname folgender Person:… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • stiff — stiff; stiff·en; stiff·en·er; stiff·ish; stiff·ly; stiff·ness; …   English syllables

  • stiff — [adj1] hard, inflexible annealed, arthritic, benumbed, brittle, buckram, cemented, chilled, congealed, contracted, creaky, firm, fixed, frozen, graceless, hardened, immalleable, impliable, incompliant, indurate, inelastic, jelled, mechanical,… …   New thesaurus

  • stiff — ► ADJECTIVE 1) not easily bent; rigid. 2) not moving freely; difficult to turn or operate. 3) unable to move easily and without pain. 4) not relaxed or friendly; constrained. 5) severe or strong: stiff fines. 6) (stiff with) informal full of …   English terms dictionary

  • stiff — stif adj lacking in suppleness <stiff muscles> stiff·ness n …   Medical dictionary

  • stiff — index close (rigorous), draconian, formal, immutable, indomitable, inflexible, ossified, ponderous …   Law dictionary

  • stiff — stiff1 [ stıf ] adjective ** ▸ 1 with pain in muscles ▸ 2 firm & difficult to bend ▸ 3 not moving easily ▸ 4 mixture: very thick ▸ 5 formal/controlled ▸ 6 more severe than usual ▸ 7 containing much alcohol ▸ + PHRASES 1. ) if you are stiff or a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”