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stiff

[stif] /stɪf/
adjective, stiffer, stiffest.
1.
rigid or firm; difficult or impossible to bend or flex:
a stiff collar.
2.
not moving or working easily:
The motor was a little stiff from the cold weather.
3.
(of a person or animal) not supple; moving with difficulty, as from cold, age, exhaustion, or injury.
4.
strong; forceful; powerful:
stiff winds; The fighter threw a stiff right to his opponent's jaw.
5.
strong or potent to the taste or system, as a beverage or medicine:
He was cold and wanted a good stiff drink.
6.
resolute; firm in purpose; unyielding; stubborn.
7.
stubbornly continued:
a stiff battle.
8.
firm against any tendency to decrease, as stock-market prices.
9.
rigidly formal; cold and unfriendly, as people, manners, or proceedings.
10.
lacking ease and grace; awkward:
a stiff style of writing.
11.
excessively regular or formal, as a design; not graceful in form or arrangement.
12.
laborious or difficult, as a task.
13.
severe or harsh, as a penalty or demand.
14.
excessive; unusually high or great:
$50 is pretty stiff to pay for that.
15.
firm from tension; taut:
to keep a stiff rein.
16.
relatively firm in consistency, as semisolid matter; thick:
a stiff jelly; a stiff batter.
17.
dense or compact; not friable:
stiff soil.
18.
Nautical. (of a vessel) having a high resistance to rolling; stable (opposed to crank).
19.
Scot. and North England. sturdy, stout, or strongly built.
20.
Australian Slang. out of luck; unfortunate.
noun
21.
Slang.
  1. a dead body; corpse.
  2. a formal or priggish person.
  3. a poor tipper; tightwad.
  4. a drunk.
22.
Slang.
  1. a fellow:
    lucky stiff; poor stiff.
  2. a tramp; hobo.
  3. a laborer.
23.
Slang.
  1. a forged check.
  2. a promissory note or bill of exchange.
  3. a letter or note, especially if secret or smuggled.
24.
Slang. a contestant, especially a racehorse, sure to lose.
adverb
25.
in or to a firm or rigid state:
The wet shirt was frozen stiff.
26.
completely, intensely, or extremely:
I'm bored stiff by these lectures. We're scared stiff.
verb (used with object)
27.
Slang. to fail or refuse to tip (a waiter, porter, etc.).
28.
Slang. to cheat; gyp; do out of:
The company stiffed me out of a week's pay.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English (adj. and adv.); Old English stīf; cognate with German steif; akin to stifle1, steeve1
Related forms
stiffish, adjective
stiffly, adverb
stiffness, noun
overstiff, adjective
overstiffly, adverb
overstiffness, noun
semistiff, adjective
semistiffly, adverb
semistiffness, noun
unstiff, adjective
unstiffly, adverb
unstiffness, noun
Synonyms
1. unbending, unyielding. See firm1 . 6. unrelenting, resolved, obstinate, pertinacious. 9. reserved, constrained, starched, prim. 10. graceless, inelegant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for un stiffest

stiff

/stɪf/
adjective
1.
not easily bent; rigid; inflexible
2.
not working or moving easily or smoothly a stiff handle
3.
difficult to accept in its severity or harshness a stiff punishment
4.
moving with pain or difficulty; not supple a stiff neck
5.
difficult; arduous a stiff climb
6.
unrelaxed or awkward; formal
7.
firmer than liquid in consistency; thick or viscous
8.
powerful; strong a stiff breeze, a stiff drink
9.
excessively high a stiff price
10.
(nautical) (of a sailing vessel) relatively resistant to heeling or rolling Compare tender1 (sense 11)
11.
lacking grace or attractiveness
12.
stubborn or stubbornly maintained a stiff fight
13.
(obsolete) tightly stretched; taut
14.
(slang, mainly Austral) unlucky
15.
(slang) intoxicated
16.
stiff upper lip, See lip (sense 9)
17.
(informal) stiff with, amply provided with
noun
18.
(slang) a corpse
19.
(slang) anything thought to be a loser or a failure; flop
adverb
20.
completely or utterly bored stiff, frozen stiff
verb
21.
(intransitive) (slang) to fail the film stiffed
22.
(transitive) (slang, mainly US) to cheat or swindle
23.
(transitive) (slang) to kill
Derived Forms
stiffish, adjective
stiffly, adverb
stiffness, noun
Word Origin
Old English stīf; related to Old Norse stīfla to dam up, Middle Low German stīf stiff, Latin stīpēs wooden post, stīpāre to press
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for un stiffest
stiff
O.E. stif "rigid, inflexible," from P.Gmc. *stifaz "inflexible" (cf. Du. stijf, O.H.G. stif, Ger. steif "stiff;" O.N. stifla "choke"), from PIE *stipos-, from root *steip- "press together, pack, cram" (cf. Skt. styayate "coagulates," stima "slow;" Gk. stia, stion "small stone," steibo "press together;" L. stipare "pack down, press," stipes "post, tree trunk;" Lith. stipti "stiffen," stiprus "strong;" O.C.S. stena "wall"). Of battles and competitions, from mid-13c.; of liquor, from 1813. To keep a stiff upper lip is attested from 1815.
stiff
"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 gen. sense of "contemptible person" (1882). Slang meaning "something or someone bound to lose" is 1890 (originally of racehorses), from notion of "corpse."
stiff
"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."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for un stiffest

stiff

adjective
  1. Drunk: when the regular piano player got stiff and fell from the stool (1737+)
  2. Forged; phony: ''I put over a couple of stiff ones'' is the way a paper-hanger describes an operation (1940s+ Underworld)
noun
  1. A drunken person: Robbing a drunken man they call ''rolling a stiff'' (1907+)
  2. (also stiffie) A corpse: a final chapter narrated by the stiff/ So we scope out the stiffie and everybody says you know, like it was too bad (1859+)
  3. A hobo; tramp; vagabond: He bore none of the earmarks of the professional ''stiff '' (1900+)
  4. A migratory worker; okie (1899+)
  5. A working man or woman; a nonclerical and nonprofessional employee; working stiff: Coolidge always seemed unreal to the ordinary stiff (1930+)
  6. A clandestine letter, esp one passed around among prisoners (1889+ Underworld)
  7. A forged check, banknote, etc (1823+ Underworld)
  8. A team, fighter, contestant, etc, that is bound to lose; esp, a race horse that will not, cannot, or is not permitted to win: There is also a rumor that Follow You is a stiff in the race (1890+)
  9. Any failure; flop, turkey: gets a million dollars worth of hype, and I hear it's a stiff (1960s+)
  10. A person who ''stiffs'' a waiter: The maitre d', knowing a stiff when he saw one, shrugged
verb
  1. To cause a horse to lose a race: He admitted that he himself had stiffed horses for a fee (1940s+ Horse racing)
  2. To fail to tip a waiter or other employee: But he was slow about getting our orders, so we stiffed him/ who not only stiffs waiters and cab drivers, but golf caddies as well (1939+)
  3. To cheat, esp out of money, fair wages, etc: The company defends its plan as a business decision and denies it was trying to stiff the women/ which creditors he could stiff, which he could stall, which had to be paid at once (1950+)
  4. To swindle; defraud; scam: Some of the lessons were not as palatable, though, such as the one about a young woman who stiffed him/ In other words, New York City got stiffed (1950+)
  5. To kill; off: Nobody was supposed to stiff a member of the family the way Vinnie had stiffed his niece's boy (1974+)
  6. (also stiff-arm) To treat unfairly and harshly; rebuff or push aside brutally: He had stiffed a Philadelphia charity golf tournament without explanation/ didn't want to stiff him or send him sniffing along false trails/ I'll just stiff-arm them (1973+)
Related Terms

big stiff, bindlestiff, bored stiff, knock someone out, scared stiff

[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]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with un stiffest
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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