stiff upper lip


: a steady and determined attitude or manner in the face of trouble
stiff-upper-lip adjective

Examples of stiff upper lip in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rarely has such stiff upper lips framed such eloquent, perpetually spewing pottymouths. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 27 Mar. 2024 In the Margaret Thatcher biopic, Streep sports a stiff upper lip and no patience for snobby misogyny as England's first female prime minister. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 4 Mar. 2024 By every outward appearance, Brooke is the perfect English gentleman, with his posh title and tidy grooming and impeccably stiff upper lip. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Sep. 2023 Daryl’s breakdowns are rare; In a show full of displays of mankind’s chaotic nature, Daryl tends to maintain a stiff upper lip. Daniel Dockery, Vulture, 7 Sep. 2023 But, unlike your great aunt’s disastrous anniversary party, this one will be held in full view of the world, so stiff upper lips are mandatory. Carole Sovocool, Robb Report, 21 Apr. 2023 As mourners’ flowers piled up at the gates of Buckingham Palace and a country famous for its stiff upper lip dissolved in tears, the seeming indifference of a secluded royal family was symbolized by a bare flagpole atop the palace, dictated by protocol but incomprehensible to a grieving public. Dan Balz, Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2022 King Charles ditched the stiff upper lip at this year’s Royal Ascot. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 23 June 2023 But it may also be explained by the very British preference for having a stiff upper lip—the stoic quality that, by pulling back the palace curtains on the reality of royal life or (or, in Harry’s telling, taking ownership of his own story), Harry betrayed. Time, 10 Jan. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stiff upper lip.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from the phrase keep a stiff upper lip

First Known Use

1815, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stiff upper lip was in 1815

Dictionary Entries Near stiff upper lip

Cite this Entry

“Stiff upper lip.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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