STIFF, adjective [Gr.]
1. Not easily bent; not flexible or pliant; not flaccid; rigid; applicable to any substance; as stiff wood; stiff paper; cloth stiff with starch; a limb stiff with frost.
They, rising on stiff pinions, tower the mid aerial sky.
2. Not liquid or fluid; thick and tenacious; inspissated; not soft nor hard. Thus melted metals grow stiff as they cool; they are stiff before they are hard. The paste is too stiff or not stiff enough.
3. Strong; violent; impetuous in motion; as in seamens language, a stiff gale or breeze.
4. Hardy; stubborn; not easily subdued.
How stiff is my vile sense!
5. Obstinate; pertinacious; firm in perseverance or resistance.
It is a shame to stand stiff in a foolish argument.
A war ensues; the Cretans own their cause, stiff to defend their hospitable laws.
6. Harsh; formal; constrained; not natural and easy; as a stiff formal style.
7. Formal in manner; constrained; affected; starched; not easy or natural; as stiff behavior.
The French are open, familiar and talkative; the Italians stiff ceremonious and reserved.
8. Strongly maintained, or asserted with good evidence.
This is stiff news.
9. In seamens language, a stiff vessel is one that will bear sufficient sail without danger of oversetting.