Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “stiff”

See all translations

stiff

adjective  /stɪf/ us  

stiff adjective (FIRM)

[-er/-est only] firm or hard and not bending or moving easily: He had stiff leather shoes on. If the dough is stiff, add more sour cream. [-er/-est only] If your body is stiff, you cannot move easily and your muscles hurt when moved: He was unable to turn his head because of a stiff neck.

stiff adjective (NOT RELAXED)

[-er/-est only] not relaxed or friendly; formal: The performance was stiff and rather predictable. You can’t be stiff with a guy who takes you into his confidence.

stiff adjective (SEVERE)

[-er/-est only] severe; difficult to deal with or do: The penalties for corruption are stiff. Most of the team’s losses have come against stiff competition.

stiff adjective (STRONG)

strong or powerful: A stiff wind beat against the house.

stiff

adverb [not gradable]  /stɪf/ infml us  

stiff adverb [not gradable] (VERY MUCH)

very much; to a great degree: I was scared stiff during the air raids.

stiff

noun [C]  /stɪf/ slang us  

stiff noun [C] (PERSON)

a person of the type described: I’m just a working stiff. You lucky stiff! slang A stiff is also a dead person’s body.

stiff

verb [T]  /stɪf/ us  

stiff verb [T] (CHEAT)

to cheat someone out of money: She stiffed the taxi driver.
(Definition of stiff from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of stiff?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “stiff” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

be as cold as ice

to be extremely cold

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More