stiff: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (stif), [key]
— adj., n., adv., v. -er, -est,
  1. rigid or firm; difficult or impossible to bend or flex: a stiff collar.
  2. not moving or working easily: The motor was a little stiff from the cold weather.
  3. (of a person or animal) not supple; moving with difficulty, as from cold, age, exhaustion, or injury.
  4. strong; forceful; powerful: stiff winds; The fighter threw a stiff right to his opponent's jaw.
  5. strong or potent to the taste or system, as a beverage or medicine: He was cold and wanted a good stiff drink.
  6. resolute; firm in purpose; unyielding; stubborn.
  7. stubbornly continued: a stiff battle.
  8. firm against any tendency to decrease, as stock-market prices.
  9. rigidly formal; cold and unfriendly, as people, manners, or proceedings.
  10. lacking ease and grace; awkward: a stiff style of writing.
  11. excessively regular or formal, as a design; not graceful in form or arrangement.
  12. laborious or difficult, as a task.
  13. severe or harsh, as a penalty or demand.
  14. excessive; unusually high or great: $50 is pretty stiff to pay for that.
  15. firm from tension; taut: to keep a stiff rein.
  16. relatively firm in consistency, as semisolid matter; thick: a stiff jelly; a stiff batter.
  17. dense or compact; not friable: stiff soil.
  18. (of a vessel) having a high resistance to rolling; stable (opposed to crank).
  19. sturdy, stout, or strongly built.
  20. out of luck; unfortunate.
    1. a dead body; corpse.
    2. a formal or priggish person.
    3. a poor tipper; tightwad.
    4. a drunk.
  1. lucky stiff; poor stiff.
    1. a fellow:lucky stiff; poor stiff.
    2. a tramp; hobo.
    3. a laborer.
    1. a forged check.
    2. a promissory note or bill of exchange.
    3. a letter or note, esp. if secret or smuggled.
  2. a contestant, esp. a racehorse, sure to lose.
  1. in or to a firm or rigid state: The wet shirt was frozen stiff.
  2. completely, intensely, or extremely: I'm bored stiff by these lectures. We're scared stiff.
  1. to fail or refuse to tip (a waiter, porter, etc.).
  2. to cheat; gyp; do out of: The company stiffed me out of a week's pay.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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