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 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.
More examples

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 winda 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.

stiff

verb [T] uk   /stɪf/ us  
to cheat someone out of money: She stiffed the taxi driver.
(Definition of stiff from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © 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

exercise

physical activity that you do to make your body strong and healthy

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

bio-inspiration noun

April 13, 2015
the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc. The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

Read More