American Dictionary of the English Language

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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.