From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishstiffstiff1 /stɪf/ ●●○S3 adjective (comparative stiffer, superlative stiffest) 🔊 🔊 1bodyBODYHURT/CAUSE PAIN if someone or a part of their body is stiff, their muscleshurt 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 painful2material/substanceHARDfirm, hard, or difficult to bend 🔊 a shirt with a stiff collar► see thesaurus at hard3mixture a stiff mixture is thick and almost solid, so that it is not easy to mix 🔊 Beat the egg whites until stiff. 🔊 a stiff dough4difficult difficult to do or deal with 🔊 a stiff teststiff competition/opposition 🔊 Graduates face stiff competition in getting jobs.5severeSTRICT a stiff punishment is great or severestiff sentence/penalty/fine 🔊 calls for stiffer penalties for rapists6door/drawer etcMOVE something OR SB# British English difficult to move, turn, or open 🔊 Pull hard – that drawer’s very stiff.7unfriendlyUNFRIENDLY 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.8price 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]
stiff• 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 🔊 🔊 1DEADthe body of a dead person2 →working stiff3someone who you think is old-fashioned and too formal 🔊 His business tactics outraged the stiffs of the UK establishment.
Examples from the Corpus
stiff• 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 informalto 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 alsoworking stiff→ See Verb table