Some senior Whitehall sources believed that there was an early “stiffness” between the Queen and Mrs. Thatcher.
But after a few minutes with him, you notice the stiffness and formality are gone.
Early signs are often movement-related, including tremors, stiffness, and problems with walking.
Your miner friends notice the stiffness of your walk and chaff you about it.
Yet her stiffness began to thaw under Lynn's genial frankness as a light frost melts under a warm sun.
In everything that bows gracefully there must be an effort at stiffness.
Her modest look, in striking contrast with the stiffness and formality common to the aristocracy, interested Lord Byron.
Markest thou not the stiffness wherewith he moves his left leg!'
Therefore this stiffness in his figure was just the right thing.
Her hair was dazzlingly yellow, and arranged with all the stiffness of the coiffeur's art.
Old English stif "rigid, inflexible," from Proto-Germanic *stifaz "inflexible" (cf. Dutch stijf, Old High German stif, German steif "stiff;" Old Norse stifla "choke"), from PIE *stipos-, from root *steip- "press together, pack, cram" (cf. Sanskrit styayate "coagulates," stima "slow;" Greek stia, stion "small stone," steibo "press together;" Latin stipare "pack down, press," stipes "post, tree trunk;" Lithuanian stipti "stiffen," stiprus "strong;" Old Church Slavonic stena "wall"). Of battles and competitions, from mid-13c.; of liquor, from 1813. To keep a stiff upper lip is attested from 1815.
"corpse," 1859, slang, from stiff (adj.) which had been associated with notion of rigor mortis since c.1200. Meaning "working man" first recorded 1930, from earlier genitive sense of "contemptible person" (1882). Slang meaning "something or someone bound to lose" is 1890 (originally of racehorses), from notion of "corpse."
"fail to tip," 1939, originally among restaurant and hotel workers, probably from stiff (n.) in slang sense of "corpse" (corpses don't tip well, either). Extended by 1950 to "cheat."
[the underworld senses having to do with forged and clandestine papers, cheating, etc, are derived fr an early 1800s British sense, ''paper, a document,'' probably based on the stiffness of official documents and document paper; the senses having to do with failure, etc, are related to the stiffness of a corpse; the sense of harsh snubbing, etc, is fr the stiff-arm in football, where a player, usually a runner, straightens out his arm and pushes it directly into the face or body of an intending tackler]