Stiff(?), a. [Compar. Stiffer (?); superl. Stiffest.] [OE. stif, AS. stf; akin to D. stijf, G. steif, Dan. stiv, Sw. styf, Icel. stfr, Lith. stipti to be stiff; cf. L. stipes a post, trunk of a tree, stipare to press, compress. Cf. Costive, Stifle, Stipulate, Stive to stuff.] 1. Not easily bent; not flexible or pliant; not limber or flaccid; rigid; firm; as, stiff wood, paper, joints.
[They] rising on stiff pennons, towerMilton.
The mid arial sky.
2. Not liquid or fluid; thick and tenacious; inspissated; neither soft nor hard; as, the paste is
3. Firm; strong; violent; difficult to oppose; as, a
stiff gale or breeze.
4. Not easily subdued; unyielding; stubborn; obstinate; pertinacious; as, a
It is a shame to stand stiff in a foolish argument.Jer. Taylor.
A war ensues: the Cretans own their cause,Dryden.
Stiff to defend their hospitable laws.
5. Not natural and easy; formal; constrained; affected; starched; as,
stiff behavior; a
The French are open, familiar, and talkative; the Italians stiff, ceremonious, and reserved.Addison.
6. Harsh; disagreeable; severe; hard to bear.
[Obs. or Colloq.] "This is stiff news."
(Naut.) Bearing a press of canvas without careening much; as, a
stiff vessel; -- opposed to
8. Very large, strong, or costly; powerful; as, a
stiff charge; a
Stiff neck, a condition of the neck such that the head can not be moved without difficulty and pain.
Syn. -- Rigid; inflexible; strong; hardly; stubborn; obstinate; pertinacious; harsh; formal; constrained; affected; starched; rigorous.
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Sun 23rd February 2020