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adjective \ˈstif\

Simple Definition of stiff

  • : difficult to bend or move

  • : painful to move or use; also : showing pain in movement or use

  • : thick and difficult to stir or pour

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of stiff

  1. 1a :  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. 2a :  firm, resoluteb :  stubborn, unyieldingc :  proudd (1) :  marked by reserve or decorum (2) :  lacking in ease or grace :  stilted

  3. 3 :  hard fought <stiff competition>

  4. 4a (1) :  exerting great force <a stiff wind> (2) :  forceful, vigorousb :  potent <poured her a stiff drink>

  5. 5 :  of a dense or glutinous consistency :  thick

  6. 6a :  harsh, severe <a stiff penalty>b :  arduous, rugged <stiff terrain>

  7. 7 :  not easily heeled over by an external force (as the wind) <a stiff ship>

  8. 8 :  expensive, steep <paid a stiff price>

stiffish play \ˈsti-fish\ adjective
stiffly adverb
stiffness noun

Examples of stiff in a sentence

  1. When I got out of bed this morning my back was stiff as a board.

  2. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff.

Origin of stiff

Middle English stif, from Old English stīf; akin to Middle Dutch stijf stiff, Latin stipare to press together, Greek steibein to tread on

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of stiff

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>.

Rhymes with stiff




Simple Definition of stiff

  • : very much : to an extreme degree

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of stiff

  1. 1 :  in a stiff manner :  stiffly

  2. 2 :  to an extreme degree :  severely <scared stiff> <bored stiff>

  3. 3 :  close enough to the hole for an easy putt in golf <hit it stiff and tapped it in for an easy birdie>

13th Century

First Known Use of stiff

13th century




Simple Definition of stiff

  • : the body of a dead person

  • : a person who you think is lucky, unlucky, etc.

  • : an ordinary or dull person

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of stiff

  1. 1 :  corpse

  2. 2a :  vagrant, trampb :  a member of the working class; especially :  a blue-collar workerc :  person <a lucky stiff>; especially :  a stodgy or excessively decorous person

  3. 3 :  flop, failure

Examples of stiff in a sentence

  1. That poor stiff never gets a break.

  2. They have the kind of luxuries the average working stiff can't afford.

Circa 1859

First Known Use of stiff

circa 1859




Simple Definition of stiff

  • : to not give as much money as you should give to (someone)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of stiff

  • transitive verb
    1. 1a :  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. 2 :  snub 3 <stiffed sportswriters after the game>

    3. intransitive verb
    4. :  to fail commercially <the movie stiffed at the box office>

    Examples of stiff in a sentence

    1. <the actress has a reputation for stiffing the press at red-carpet events>

    2. <customers who were too embarrassed to admit that they had been stiffed by an Internet company selling sexual aids>


    First Known Use of stiff


    STIFF Defined for Kids


    adjective \ˈstif\

    Definition of stiff for Students


    1. 1 :  not easily bent <And because Sarah's clothes were stiff and heavy, the Indian woman made her clothes of deerskin … — Alice Dalgliesh, The Courage of Sarah Noble>

    2. 2 :  not easily moved <stiff muscles>

    3. 3 :  firm and not changeable <stiff determination>

    4. 4 :  not friendly, relaxed, or graceful in manner <… how tense Phoebe's whole family seemed, how tidy, how respectable, how … stiff. — Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons>

    5. 5 :  powerful, strong <a stiff wind>

    6. 6 :  not flowing easily :  thick <Beat the egg whites until stiff.>

    7. 7 :  severe 3 <a stiff penalty>

    8. 8 :  hard to do or deal with :  difficult <a stiff test>

    stiffly adverb <walk stiffly>
    stiffness noun

    Medical Dictionary


    adjective \ˈstif\

    Medical Definition of stiff

    1. :  lacking in suppleness <stiff muscles>

    stiffness noun

    Seen and Heard

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