Definition of stiffly in English:



  • 1In a manner that is not relaxed or friendly.

    ‘they stiffly shook hands’
    ‘she sits stiffly beside him and says he 's just a friend’
    • ‘I stiffly hugged my stepmother.’
    • ‘She stiffly accepted his hand, and he lead her to the floor.’
    • ‘William stiffly responded with a nod.’
    • ‘He stiffly thanked her for coming and commented on how well she looked.’
    • ‘She hurt him by stiffly acknowledging his services to the Crown and forgetting to recall his 60 years of service to the state.’
    1. 1.1In a way that lacks ease of movement.
      ‘the arthritis makes her walk stiffly and slowly’
      ‘he looked gaunt and moved stiffly’
      • ‘He danced stiffly, raising his legs and plunking them down again like a tin soldier, as if he were being controlled by a master puppeteer.’
      • ‘You strut stiffly, head up, as if the place smells of disinfectant.’
      • ‘As the third set began, he was limping stiffly around the court.’
      • ‘He was running stiffly, wasting energy.’
      • ‘Figures marched stiffly in single file down the narrow corridors between the makeshift rooms.’
    2. 1.2In a way that is firm and difficult to bend or move.
      ‘a stiffly starched shirt’
      ‘she gently turned the key in the lock where it stiffly slid into place’
      • ‘Carefully fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and transfer mixture to buttered baking pan.’
      • ‘During this time, she was allowed to wear her own clothing, and not the stiffly starch hardness of the plain prison uniform.’
      • ‘Saltgrass blades are stiffly rigid with sharp tips.’
      • ‘They preferred the discomfort of boned bodices and stiffly interfaced skirts.’
      • ‘Does the fabric hang stiffly or fall gently from your hand?’
  • 2In a severe or strong manner.

    ‘stiffly worded letters of complaint’
    ‘defendants were always convicted and stiffly sentenced’
    • ‘His book is not a dry compendium of stiffly stated rules.’
    • ‘He requested the promulgation of a law that would stiffly punish all those attempting to play with national unity.’
    • ‘It created substantial costs in unemployment and lost output in order to stiffly deal with inflation.’
    • ‘The city council stiffly reprimanded students caught fist-fighting at the college.’
    • ‘I will remain content even if I am stiffly criticized.’