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stiff / stif/ • adj. 1. not easily bent or changed in shape; rigid: a stiff black collar stiff cardboard. ∎  not moving as freely as is usual or desirable; difficult to turn or operate: a stiff drawer the faucet in the shower is a little stiff. ∎  (of a person or part of the body) unable to move easily and without pain: he was stiff from sitting on the desk a stiff back. ∎  (of a person or their manner) not relaxed or friendly; constrained: she greeted him with stiff politeness. ∎  viscous; thick: add wheat until the mixture is quite stiff. 2. severe or strong: they face stiff fines and a possible jail sentence a stiff increase in taxes. ∎  (of a wind) blowing strongly: a stiff breeze stirring the lake. ∎  requiring strength or effort; difficult: a long stiff climb up the bare hillside. ∎  (of an alcoholic drink) strong: a stiff measure of brandy. 3. (stiff with) inf. full of: the place is stiff with alarm systems. 4. (—— stiff) inf. having a specified unpleasant feeling to an extreme extent: she was scared stiff I was bored stiff with my project. 5. Bridge a card that is the only one of its suit in a hand: two red aces and a stiff club. • n. inf. 1. a dead body. 2. a boring, conventional person: ordinary working stiffs in respectable offices. ∎ inf. a fellow: the lucky stiff! • v. [tr.] inf. 1. (often be stiffed) cheat (someone) out of something, esp. money: several workers were stiffed out of their pay. ∎  fail to leave (someone) a tip. 2. ignore deliberately; snub. ∎  fail to appear for a promised engagement or appointment: he stiffed us and didn't show up. 3. kill: I want to get those pigs who stiffed your doctor. ∎  [intr.] be unsuccessful: as soon as he began singing about the wife and kids, his albums stiffed. PHRASES: stiff as a board inf. (of a person or part of the body) extremely stiff. a stiff upper lip a quality of uncomplaining stoicism: senior managers had to keep a stiff upper lip and remain optimistic.DERIVATIVES: stiff·ish adj. stiff·ly adv. stiff·ness n.

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stiffbiff, cliff, glyph, if, kif, miff, niff, quiff, riff, skew-whiff, skiff, sniff, spliff, stiff, tiff, whiff •mischief • handkerchief •neckerchief • kerchief • Cardiff •Radcliffe •bailiff, calif, caliph •Wyclif • Northcliffe • anaglyph •hieroglyph • tariff •serif, sheriff •midriff • hippogriff • mastiff • caitiff •plaintiff • pontiff • Joseph

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stiff not flexible, rigid, OE.; (dial.) stalwart; (of wind) strong, steady XIII; steep so as to be difficult XVIII. OE. stīf, corr. to MLG., MDu. stīf (Du. stijf), ON. stífr :- Gmc. *stīfaz; rel. to L. stīpāre press, pack, stīpes stake, Lith. stiprùs strong.
Hence stiffen (-EN5) XVI.

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