Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “stiff”

stiff

adjective (SEVERE)    /stɪf/
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
(Definition of stiff adjective (SEVERE) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of stiff

Definitions of “stiff” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

beneficiary

a person or group who receives money, advantages, etc. as a result of something else

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More