I. adjective Etymology: Middle English stif, from Old English stīf; akin to Middle Dutch stijf stiff, Latin stipare to press together, Greek steibein to tread on Date: before 12th century 1. a. not easily bent ; rigid <
a stiff collar
b. lacking in suppleness or flexibility <
stiff muscles
c. impeded in movement — used of a mechanism <
a truck's stiff suspension
d. drunk 1a 2. a. firm, resolute b. stubborn, unyielding c. proud d. (1) marked by reserve or decorum (2) lacking in ease or grace ; stilted 3. hard fought ; pugnacious, sharp <
drove a stiff bargain
stiff competition
4. a. (1) exerting great force <
a stiff wind
(2) forceful, vigorous b. potent <
a stiff dose
poured her a stiff drink
5. of a dense or glutinous consistency ; thick 6. a. harsh, severe <
a stiff penalty
b. arduous, rugged <
stiff terrain
7. not easily heeled over by an external force (as the wind) <
a stiff ship
8. expensive, steep <
paid a stiff price
stiffish adjectivestiffly adverbstiffness noun Synonyms: stiff, rigid, inflexible mean difficult to bend. stiff may apply to any degree of this condition <
stretching keeps your muscles from becoming stiff
. rigid applies to something so stiff that it cannot be bent without breaking <
a rigid surfboard
. inflexible stresses lack of suppleness or pliability <
ski boots with inflexible soles
. II. adverb Date: 13th century 1. in a stiff manner ; stiffly 2. to an extreme degree ; severely <
scared stiff
bored stiff
3. close enough to the hole for an easy putt in golf <
hit it stiff and tapped it in for an easy birdie
III. noun Date: circa 1859 1. corpse 2. a. tramp, bum b. a member of the working class; especially a blue-collar worker c. person <
a lucky stiff
; especially a stodgy or excessively decorous person 3. flop, failure IV. verb Date: 1950 transitive verb 1. a. to refuse to pay or tip <
stiffed the waiter
b. cheat <
stiffed him in a business deal
c. stick 7a <
stiffed us with the bar bill
2. snub 3 <
stiffed sportswriters after the game
intransitive verb to fail commercially <
the movie stiffed at the box office

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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

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