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See also: Stiff
- (of an object) Rigid; hard to bend; inflexible.
- 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
- “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; […]. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, and from time to time squinting sideways, as usual, in the ever-renewed expectation that he might catch a glimpse of his stiff, retroussé moustache.
- (figurative, of policies and rules and their application and enforcement) Inflexible; rigid.
- (of a person) Formal in behavior; unrelaxed.
- (colloquial) Harsh, severe.
- He was eventually caught, and given a stiff fine.
- 1961 February, “New English Electric diesels for East Africa”, in Trains Illustrated, page 90:
- To fit them for heavy loads on gradients as stiff as 1 in 45 in tropical conditions, these Class 90 diesels embody several unusual features, [...].
- (of muscles or parts of the body) Painful as a result of excessive or unaccustomed exercise.
- My legs are stiff after climbing that hill yesterday.
- a stiff drink; a stiff dose; a stiff breeze
- 2023 July 4, Marina Hyde, “Who’s for political Bazball with Rishi? Voters? Tories? Anyone?”, in The Guardian:
- In the end, perhaps these deflections are easier than confronting the reality and debunking some of the less helpful stories a certain section of England likes to tell about itself. Much easier to just order another stiff one, and raise the old toast: “My country, right or wrong!”
- (informal) Dead, deceased.
- (of the penis) Erect.
- Having a dense consistency; thick; (by extension) Difficult to stir.
- Adding too much peanut butter to your Peanut Sauce recipe may cause your sauce to turn out too stiff.
- (cooking, of whipping cream or egg whites) Beaten until so aerated that they stand up straight on their own.
- beat the egg whites until they are stiff
- (mathematics) Of an equation: for which certain numerical solving methods are numerically unstable, unless the step size is taken to be extremely small.
- (nautical) Keeping upright.
- (golf) Of a shot: landing so close to the flagstick that it should be very easy to sink the ball with the next shot.
- 1968, William Price Fox, Southern Fried Plus Six: Short Works of Fiction, page 219:
- I go all out, go for the long ball, the stiff shots to the pin, aim for the back of the cup.
- (professional wrestling, of a strike) Delivered more forcefully than needed, whether intentionally or accidentally, thus causing legitimate pain to the opponent.
- For quotations using this term, see Citations:stiff.
of an object, rigid, hard to bend, inflexible
figuratively: of policies and rules and their application and enforcement
of a person, formal in behavior, unrelaxed
colloquial: harsh, severe
of muscles, or parts of the body
erect, of a penis
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
- (slang, chiefly Canada, US) An average person, usually male, of no particular distinction, skill, or education.
- (slang) A person who is deceived, as a mark or pigeon in a swindle.
- She convinced the stiff to go to her hotel room, where her henchman was waiting to rob him.
- (slang) A cadaver; a dead person.
- 1969 December 7, Monty Python, “Full Frontal Nudity, Dead Parrot sketch”, in Monty Python's Flying Circus, spoken by Mr Praline (John Cleese):
- This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies!
- (slang) A flop; a commercial failure.
- 1994, Andy Dougan, The actors' director: Richard Attenborough behind the camera, page 63:
- If the movie was a stiff it wasn't any of their specific faults. They were all in it together and they were jobbed in and jobbed out for two weeks and gone and they got a pile of money for their efforts.
- 2016, Ralph J. Gleason, Toby Gleason, Music in the Air: The Selected Writings of Ralph J. Gleason:
- They never did sell any records. I don't mean they didn't sell 100,000. I mean they didn't sell 5000. Total. National. Coast-to-coast. The record was a stiff.
- (US, slang) A person who leaves (especially a restaurant) without paying the bill.
- (US, slang, by extension) A customer who does not leave a tip.
- (blackjack) Any hard hand where it is possible to exceed 21 by drawing an additional card.
- (finance, slang) Negotiable instruments, possibly forged.
- (prison slang) A note or letter surreptitiously sent by an inmate.
average person, usually male
person who is deceived
slang: cadaver, dead person
US: person who leaves without paying the bill
- (prison slang: a note or letter): Eric Partridge (1949), “stiff”, in A Dictionary of the Underworld, London: Macmillan Co., page 688; 2015, Noel 'Razor' Smith, The Criminal Alphabet: An A-Z of Prison Slang
- (financial instruments): 1873, John Camden Hotten, The Slang Dictionary
- To fail to pay that which one owes (implicitly or explicitly) to another, especially by departing hastily.
- Realizing he had forgotten his wallet, he stiffed the taxi driver when the cab stopped for a red light.
- 1946, William Foote Whyte, Industry and Society, page 129:
- We asked one girl to explain how she felt when she was "stiffed." She said, You think of all the work you've done and how you've tried to please [them…].
- To cheat someone
- 1992, Stephen Birmingham, Shades of Fortune, page 451:
- You see, poor Nonie really was stiffed by Adolph in his will. He really stiffed her, Rose, and I really wanted to right that wrong.
- To tip ungenerously.
- 2007, Mary Higgins Clark, I Heard That Song Before, page 154:
- Then he stiffed the waiter with a cheap tip.
- (slang) To kill.
to fail to pay money one owes
to cheat someone
- (nautical) Of the wind, with great force; strongly.
- 1731, John Lowthorp, Philosophical Transactions and Collections to the End of the Year MDCC, 4th edition, volume II, page 282:
- At Feversham was a very High Tide in the Afternoon, tho' the Wind was Southerly, and blew very stiff, which the Seamen there wondered at.
- 1849 October 23, Herman Melville, edited by Howard C. Horsforth and Lynn Horth, The Writings of Herman Melville: Journals, volume 15, published 1989, page 9:
- It soon blew stiff, & we scudded before it under double-reefed topsails, & mainsail hauled up.
- 1871 September 16, W.A. Crowther, Diary:
- At about 11.30 am it rained tremendously and blew very stiff.
- Jonathon Green (2023), “stiff v.2”, in Green's Dictionary of Slang
- Jonathon Green (2023), “stiff v.3”, in Green's Dictionary of Slang
- Alternative form of
- Alternative form of
- 1867, “DR. RUSSELL ON THE INHABITANTS AND DIALECT OF THE BARONY OF FORTH”, in APPENDIX:
- Stiff Staffort,
- Stiff Stafford.
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 126