1. Rigidness; want of pliableness or flexibility; the firm texture or state of a substance which renders it difficult to bend it; as the stiffness or iron or wood; the stiffness of a frozen limb.
2. Thickness; spissitude; a state between softness and hardness; as the stiffness of sirup, paste, size or starch.
3. Torpidness; inaptitude to motion.
An icy stiffness benumbs my blood.
4. Tension; as the stiffness of a cord.
5. Obstinacy; stubbornness; contumaciousness.
The vices of old age have the stiffness of it too.
STIFFNESS of mind is not from adherence to truth, but submission to prejudice.
6. Formality of manner; constraint; affected precision.
All this religion sat easily upon him, without stiffness and constraint.
7. Rigorousness; harshness.
But speak no word to her of these sad plights, which her too constant stiffness doth constrain.
8. Affected or constrained manner of expression or writing; want of natural simplicity and ease; as stiffness of style.