1

stiff

adjective \ ˈstif \

Definition of stiff

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
c :proud
d (1) :marked by reserve or decorum
(2) :lacking in ease or grace :stilted
3 :hard fought
  • stiff competition
4 a (1) :exerting great force
  • a stiff wind
b :potent
  • 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 (such as the wind)
  • a stiff ship
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.

Recent Examples of stiff from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stiff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology 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

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

2

stiff

adverb

Definition of stiff

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

Recent Examples of stiff from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stiff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stiff

13th century


3

stiff

noun

Definition of stiff

1 :corpse
2 a :vagrant, tramp
b :a member of the working class; especially :a blue-collar worker
c :person
  • a lucky stiff
; especially :a stodgy or excessively decorous person

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.

Recent Examples of stiff from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stiff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stiff

circa 1859

stiff Synonyms

Synonyms
bones, cadaver, carcass, corpus, corse [archaic], relics, remains, corpse
Related Words
mummy; carnage, carrion; ashes; deceased, decedent
Near Antonyms
animal, beast, beastie, brute, critter

4

stiff

verb

Definition of stiff

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

Examples of stiff in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of stiff from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stiff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stiff

1950



STIFF Defined for English Language Learners

stiff

adjective

Definition of stiff for English Language Learners

  • : difficult to bend or move

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

  • : thick and difficult to stir or pour


stiff

adverb

Definition of stiff for English Language Learners

  • : very much : to an extreme degree


stiff

noun

Definition of stiff for English Language Learners

  • : the body of a dead person

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

  • : an ordinary or dull person


stiff

verb

Definition of stiff for English Language Learners

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


STIFF Defined for Kids

stiff

adjective \ ˈstif \

Definition of stiff for Students

stiffer; stiffest
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 :not easily moved
  • stiff muscles
3 :firm and not changeable
  • stiff determination
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 :powerful, strong
  • a stiff wind
6 :not flowing easily :thick
  • Beat the egg whites until stiff.
7 :severe 3
  • a stiff penalty
8 :hard to do or deal with :difficult
  • a stiff test

stiffly

adverb
  • walk stiffly

stiffness

noun

Medical Dictionary

stiff

adjective \ ˈstif \

medical Definition of stiff

:lacking in suppleness
  • stiff muscles

stiffness

noun


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to conform or adhere

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