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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. 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. 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.

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.

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. a stiff breeze/wind a strong wind a stiff drink, brandy, gin, etc. C2 an alcoholic drink that is very strong: A stiff whisky - that's what I need. A stiff price is very expensive: We had to pay a stiff membership fee to join the health club.

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.

stiff

noun [C] uk   /stɪf/ us  

stiff noun [C] (PERSON)

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

stiff noun [C] (BODY)

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