From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishstiffstiff1 /stɪf/ ●●○ S3 adjective (comparative stiffer, superlative stiffest) 1 bodyBODYHURT/CAUSE PAIN if someone or a part of their body is stiff, their muscles hurt and it is difficult for them to movestiff from doing something Her legs were stiff from kneeling.stiff with Her fingers were stiff with cold.stiff neck/back/joint etc Alastair woke with a stiff neck. I never felt stiff after training until I was in my thirties. The next morning I was as stiff as a board (=very stiff).► see thesaurus at painful2 material/substanceHARD firm, hard, or difficult to bend a shirt with a stiff collar► see thesaurus at hard3 mixture a stiff mixture is thick and almost solid, so that it is not easy to mix Beat the egg whites until stiff. a stiff dough4 difficult difficult to do or deal with a stiff teststiff competition/opposition Graduates face stiff competition in getting jobs.5 severeSTRICT a stiff punishment is great or severestiff sentence/penalty/fine calls for stiffer penalties for rapists 6 door/drawer etcMOVE something OR SB# British English difficult to move, turn, or open Pull hard – that drawer’s very stiff.7 unfriendlyUNFRIENDLY if someone’s behaviour is stiff, they behave in a very formal or unfriendly way Their goodbyes were stiff and formal. Parsons gave a stiff performance in the main role.8 price a stiff price etc is high, especially higher than the price etc of similar things a stiff tax on cigarettes9 → stiff wind/breeze10 → stiff drink/whisky etc11 → stiff upper lip —stiffly adverb —stiffness noun [uncountable]
Examples from the Corpusstiff• The leaves of the anubias plant are very stiff.• I tried to smile back, but my face that day was curiously stiff.• As you get older, your muscles become stiffer.• For crimes involving the use of guns, the sentences are particularly stiff.• In the extreme cold my wet shoes became frozen stiff.• I felt really stiff after playing basketball last week.• Their good-byes were stiff and formal.• The dress didn't suit her, it was too stiff and smart, it looked as if she was trying too hard.• After a twelve hour plane ride, my back was stiff and sore.• The collar of his shirt felt stiff and uncomfortable.• The tremolo would probably need setting up properly because it feels stiff and uneven in use.• She gives the impression of being rather stiff and unfriendly, but I think that's because she's basically shy.• To make the picture, you will need a sheet of stiff card.• Whether the high jumper can requalify against stiff competition depends in large part upon the other big change: her takeoff.• With slow wrinkling his stiff face relaxed now and then into a feminine tender smile.• Motorists who do not obey the rules will face stiff fines of up to £3000.• My legs are stiff from going running last night.• The sheets outside on the washing line had gone stiff in the frost.• Rarely, a subarachnoid bleed can present with high fever, stiff neck, and headache masquerading as meningitis.• I woke up with a stiff neck this morning.• Magistrates now have the power to impose stiff penalties on the parents of children who fail to turn up for school.• a stiff piece of cardboardstiff neck/back/joint etc• Can you watch television without getting a stiff neck?• In the morning he woke up with a painful stiff neck.• Sore throat with swollen glands and a stiff neck.• Doubtless there were a few stiff backs and aching muscles to contend with after it was all finished.• Rarely, a subarachnoid bleed can present with high fever, stiff neck, and headache masquerading as meningitis.• A stiff neck for a few weeks after a bump was tolerated in the past.• Her physical pain went on in the form of sensitivity, aching muscles, stiff joints, indigestion, and kidney stones.• The stiff neck is a way of controlling feeling as are the rigid shoulders and the pulled-in gut.stiff competition/opposition• The planned deregulation has bred concern that Petron will face stiffer competition and an erosion of its 42 percent market share.• The company was facing stiff competition and losing market share.• He is called upon both to defend his faith against stiff opposition and to spread it among his friends.• Both projects, which were won against stiff competition, are for offshore fixed installations for Abu Dhabi based company Adma Opco.• Whether the high jumper can requalify against stiff competition depends in large part upon the other big change: her takeoff.• But he says it has some stiff competition from a consortium of Eastern universities and industry.• Land developers ran into stiff opposition from environmental groups.• A spokesman for Cuff Roberts said the scheme offered nationwide expertise from Liverpool and stiff competition to Manchester firms.• Superior products would evolve and stiff competition would sprout up as Roundup patent protections expired around the globe. stiff and formal• Supper that night was rather stiff and formal.• Their good-byes were stiff and formal.• What comes across is a spoken version of a written communication; the words tend to sound stiff and formal.• The apse mosaics have a gold background and are of early type, being stiff and formal in design.• It was all there, faithfully recorded in his uncle's stiff and formal style.stiffstiff2 adverb 1 → bored/scared/worried stiff2 → frozen stiff
Examples from the Corpusstiff• Dr Aziz replied stiffly, "I do not consider Mrs Moore my friend.''• Riven was stiff all over, hardly able to stretch himself flat.• He lay next to me stiff as wood.• I made myself go stiff at first but Mum went on cuddling and soon I sort of collapsed against her.• The wind was quieter there but the dried-out cold it left behind kept pedestrians fast-moving, stiff inside their coats.• Leyland rose, stiff, self-conscious, afraid.stiffstiff3 noun [countable] informal 1 DEADthe body of a dead person2 → working stiff3 someone who you think is old-fashioned and too formal His business tactics outraged the stiffs of the UK establishment.
Examples from the Corpusstiff• They closed the old door behind them and there I was, alone with a few dozen stiffs.• How about a series on rock's greatest stiffs?• He was rising in the world, a celebrated hijacker, and Charlie was a working stiff with money problems.• My dad was a poor working stiff.stiffstiff4 verb informal 1 [transitive] American EnglishPAY FOR# to cheat someone by not paying them, especially by not leaving a tip in a restaurant I can’t believe that couple stiffed me!2 [intransitive] if a new product, film, show etc stiffs, it does not sell well or fails completely SYN bomb They had a hit in the 1990s, but their subsequent releases stiffed.→ See Verb tableFrom Longman Business Dictionarystiffstiff /stɪf/ verb [transitive] American English informal to not pay someone money that you owe them or that they expect to be given, for example by not leaving a tip in a restaurant → see also working stiff→ See Verb tableOrigin stiff1 Old English stif