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English definition of “stiff”

stiff

adjective uk   /stɪf/ us  

stiff adjective (FIRM)

B2 firm or hard: stiff cardboard a stiff collar His clothes were stiff with dried mud. This hair spray has made my hair stiff. Mix the powder and water into a stiff paste.Hard and firm B2 not easily bent or moved: The handle on this door is rather stiff. The man's body was (as) stiff as a board when it was found in the snow.Hard and firm B2 If you are stiff or part of your body is stiff, your muscles hurt when they are moved: Sitting still at a computer terminal all day can give you a stiff neck.Hard and firm

stiff adjective (NOT RELAXED)

C2 behaving in a way that is formal and not relaxed: The general is a tall man with steel spectacles and a stiff, rather pompous manner.Manners and levels of formalityPolite and respectful

stiff adjective (SEVERE)

C2 severe and difficult: The athlete was given a stiff punishment for using drugs. They are campaigning for stiffer penalties for people who drink and drive. There has been stiff opposition/resistance to the proposed tax increases. It's a stiff climb to the top of the hill. Some college courses have stiffer entry requirements than others. Both companies are worried about losing business in the face of stiff competition.Serious and severeSevere a stiff breeze/wind a strong windWind and windsStormy weather a stiff drink, brandy, gin, etc. C2 an alcoholic drink that is very strong: A stiff whisky - that's what I need.Alcohol - general words A stiff price is very expensive: We had to pay a stiff membership fee to join the health club.Costing too muchExpensive and luxurious

stiff

adverb uk   /stɪf/ us  
B2 very much, or to a great degree: I got frozen stiff (= very cold) waiting at the bus stop. I was scared stiff when I heard someone moving around upstairs.Very and extremeComplete and wholeIntensifying expressions

stiff

noun [C] uk   /stɪf/ us  

stiff noun [C] (PERSON)

US informal a person of the type described: a working stiff you lucky stiffPeople in general

stiff noun [C] (BODY)

slang a dead body: They found a stiff in the river.Death and dying
(Definition of stiff from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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