- 1Not easily bent or changed in shape; rigid: a stiff black collar stiff cardboardMore example sentences
- He's wearing a white shirt with a stiff collar, black trousers with braces, and dancing shoes with leather spats.
- The plans are in PDF format for easy printing and pasting onto stiff cardboard.
- The duo have dispensed with plastic CD casings and fashioned their covers from stiff cardboard.
- 1.1(Of a semiliquid substance) viscous; thick: add wheat until the mixture is quite stiffMore example sentences
- Mix together roughly four tablespoons of flour and one tablespoon of water with enough water to form a paste - a thick, stiff paste will give you a raised cross and a looser paste will give you a flat cross.
- Whisk together the double and single cream until thick, but not stiff: this takes longer than usual because of the addition of the single cream.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until thick and stiff.
- 1.2Not moving as freely as is usual or desirable; difficult to turn or operate: a stiff drawer the faucet in the shower is a little stiffMore example sentences
- It is harder for them to dress in and out of equipment, propel themselves through the water and operate stiff power inflators or releases, for example.
- Typical aging of these windows involves corrosion of the metal, stiff operation, inability to close and multiple layers of paint.
- 1.3(Of a person or part of the body) unable to move easily and without pain: he was stiff from sitting on the desk a stiff backMore example sentences
- ‘My body was very stiff at first especially because of my old age,’ Shen said.
- A little into the morning saw all of us grimacing over our stiff bodies - the outcome of the previous day's water pursuits!
- He was weak and his aching body was still stiff from the beating.
- 1.4(Of a person or their manner) not relaxed or friendly; constrained: she greeted him with stiff politenessMore example sentences
- Corrissa's stiff manner left her, and she ran frantically towards the door and immediately started pounding on it.
- You have a melancholy disposition resulting in a shyness, or a formal and stiff manner of presenting yourself.
- Mel had never particularly liked the woman's stiff manner and perfect outward appearance.
- 2Severe or strong: they face stiff fines and a possible jail sentence a stiff increase in taxesMore example sentences
- He was tried and found guilty by a British Consular Court: his punishment was a stiff fine and probation with a stern warning to desist.
- The league should be proud of that, not hiding behind stiff fines and harsh rhetoric.
- That commission recommended stiff increases in the payroll tax to create a surplus that would help fund the retirement of baby boomers down the road.
- 2.1(Of a wind) blowing strongly: a stiff breeze stirring the lakeMore example sentences
strong, fresh, brisk
- As he spoke, it seemed the gods were heeding the many prayers at the Cork venue, as the sun shone brightly and a stiff wind blew on the opening day.
- The Pope, who aides say is losing sleep over the possibility of war, celebrated a Mass that began with a stiff wind blowing in from Siberia over the flat steppes and ended in sunshine.
- A stiff wind blew through the woods, ruffling their hair.
- 2.2Requiring strength or effort; difficult: a long stiff climb up the bare hillsideMore example sentences
- However, outside of China, in Japan for instance, such an effort will meet stiff resistance from habit users and from simple economic forces.
- From there a very stiff climb through what is still called ‘Sullivan road’ took us to Kundhesappe and then to Doddabetta foothill.
- Once more, firm sand provided a gentle walking surface until almost the end of the beach, where we rested before the short but stiff climb to the heathland above the cliffs.
- 2.3(Of an alcoholic drink) strong: a stiff measure of brandyMore example sentences
- I don't drink at lunchtime but I like a stiff whisky at 6.30 in the evening and perhaps another later on.
- The General was pouring himself a stiff brandy with shaking hands.
- Bowles reassures her with a stiff whisky and a clipped certainty that everything will be back to normal tomorrow.
- 4 (—— stiff) • informal Having a specified unpleasant feeling to an extreme extent: she was scared stiff I was bored stiff with my projectMore example sentences
- I cannot speak for Xander, but I was still scared stiff.
- "They'll see that in the paper and think I'm scared stiff," he said.
- Andy pleaded from the hallway seeming utterly scared stiff.
noun• informal Back to top
- 1A dead body.More example sentences
- When the bodies of various stiffs start disappearing from the local morgue, the police are baffled as to where they've gone.
- There's a whole craft industry based on vehicles for transferring stiffs from the chapel to the boneyard.
- A friend of my father's worked for the London Transport Police and part of his job involved scraping stiffs off the tracks.
- 2chiefly North American A boring, conventional person: ordinary working stiffs in respectable officesMore example sentences
- So, unlike the bigwigs who cashed in big on stock options, look for him to remain a working stiff.
- Never have the ordinary people of America, the decent, working stiffs, needed and deserved a great tribute more urgently.
- Don't trust that future working stiffs will pay your way - the system may be entirely different by then!
- 2.1A fellow; an ordinary person: the lucky stiff!More example sentences
- I would issue a fiat that the NFL has to change its overtime rule, so that both teams must be given a chance to score, not just the lucky stiffs who win the coin flip.
verb[with object] • informal Back to top
- 1North American Cheat (someone) out of something, especially money: several workers were stiffed out of their payMore example sentences
- We do know they have been steadily alienating your regular customers, stiffing them on money owed, making a terrible mess of the legitimate business, while all the while on paper your company is soaring.
- After the media glare faded, the team was stiffed for $43,000 of the prize money.
- If people are unaware, it is a crime to stiff people on wages, even the homeless.
- 1.1Fail to leave (someone) a tip.More example sentences
- "Sending a message" by stiffing a rude waiter or bellhop does not work.
- I can tell you I never stiffed a waiter in a French restaurant.
- Every morning the same four guys came in, ate the same eggs-and-potatoes configurations, repeated the same harangue about how I was personally responsible for their lack of overtime, and stiffed me.
- 2North American Ignore deliberately; snub.More example sentences
- And in this case, he was very interested in all of the questions, did not stiff them or brush them off.
- But to follow up on Bernie's question, does the vice president pay a price for stiffing the press as he has done for two months now?
- And yet, he stiffed the police for a couple of months and, even to this day, has not spoken out publicly.
- 3.1 [no object] Be unsuccessful: as soon as he began singing about the wife and kids, his albums stiffedMore example sentences
- I'll bet you his last album was more successful than an American superstar whose last album stiffed.
- Ultimately, we wound up doing one television show as guild members, the record started stiffing and the band broke up.
- It stiffed, but his performance sticks in the memory and it's that ability which will see him through any critical fall-out.
stiff as a board
- • informal (Of a person or part of the body) extremely stiff.More example sentences
- He would lay in his bed flat on his back, stiff as a board, tightly clutching his blanket with the fingers of both hands.
- Dustin fought to stay up, to stay stiff as a board, but eventually the bear succeeded in knocking him over.
- I made my back as stiff as a board, glaring the whole while at the poor boy.
a stiff upper lip
- A quality of uncomplaining stoicism: senior managers had to keep a stiff upper lip and remain optimisticMore example sentences
- Upper-class Englishmen pride themselves on discretion and a stiff upper lip, deeply unfashionable human qualities in these tabloid times.
- But, if the governing class goes about business as usual, that's not a stiff upper lip but a death wish.
- Most of the women were crying, but I kept a stiff upper lip.
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- The sides were tied and the former Ryan Cup champions faced into a stiffish breeze for the second period.
- Drain well and mash, adding the other ingredients, forming a stiffish dough.
- A rather stiffish breeze blew from the town end of the grounds, which the winners had first use of.
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- He smiled stiffly and slowly moved his arm so that it was extended out in front of him.
- They stood stiffly at attention, rifles in hand, guarding the gates of their establishment.
- Uniforms were white, shirts stiffly starched, and caps tilted by gloved hands.
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- The head is slightly bowed, but the body is upright, without a trace of military rigidity or stiffness.
- Other symptoms include muscle rigidity or stiffness and slow movement.
- But her natural dignity, verging on stiffness, and a strong sense of duty, made her fill the role well.
Old English stīf, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch stijf.