Meaning of “stiff” - Learner’s Dictionary


adjective us uk /stɪf/
Extra Examples
Clean the surface using a stiff wire brush.The leather was old and had become stiff.Ed made a sign using a stiff piece of card.He managed to pick the lock using a stiff piece of wire.The hedgehog has stiff, needle-like spines on its back.

B2 hard and difficult to bend:

stiff material

B2 A door, drawer, etc that is stiff does not move as easily as it should.


If a part of your body is stiff, it hurts and is difficult to move:

I've got a stiff neck.

very severe or difficult:

We need stiffer penalties for drink driving.

behaving in a way that is formal and not relaxed


A stiff substance is thick and does not move around easily:

Whip the cream until it is stiff.
stiff drink/whisky/vodka, etc

a strong alcoholic drink:

I need a stiff brandy.
stiff wind/breeze

a wind that is quite strong

stiffly adverb
stiffness noun [ U ]

(Definition of “stiff adjective” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)