from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Stubborn and arrogant or aloof. See Synonyms at obstinate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Stubborn and arrogant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Stubborn; inflexibly obstinate; contumacious

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Stubborn; inflexibly obstinate; contumacious: as, a stiff-necked people.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. haughtily stubborn


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I never liked the expression stiff-necked, but yes, as I conceded to Chloë’s mother in the course of what I now realize had been planned as a goodbye and good-riddance tea, we were an implacable people.

    Kalooki Nights

  • "And it's just as important that Republicans not be stiff-necked about working across the aisle when important work must be done," Mr. Kasich said.

    Put Politics Aside, Obama Says

  • The stiff-necked philosophies of the environmental and energy lobbies have killed most of the US

    Gary Liberson, PhD: Cut the Deficit: Address Global Warming

  • We have also seen how a people can be deserving of a type of leader such as dictator due their own characteristics, and as in the case of Moses and his people, how a good leader can be the head of a stubborn, stiff-necked and uncooperative mass.

    Asad Khan: Spiritual Awakening & the Future of Our World

  • When a small company leveraged technology and brains to disrupt a business model or a cultural tradition, the world saw it as attractive and exciting and viewed competitors as stiff-necked bullies trying to preserve their power.

    In the Plex

  • Just like the text by Itard on which it is based, Truffaut's film expresses both the romanticism of Victor's impassioned longing for the woods and the moon, and also the clinical compassion with which his stiff-necked, reserved teacher offers him the values of civilisation.

    Truffaut: growing backwards into childhood

  • Once a stiff-necked practitioner who mocked and challenged authorities, an imprisoned Kevorkian promised in affidavits and requests for release that he would not assist suicides if he were released.

    Assisted suicide advocate Kevorkian dies at age 83

  • It's a long introduction designed to establish my credibility: that I have no reason to promote religion or, since I'm Jewish, the Christian religion in particular, when I say that the atheists who pushed the Nativity scenes from the park showed the very same stiff-necked intolerance that they accuse religions of.

    Frank Gruber: Akedism: For Those Who Don't Care If God Exists

  • Their backs stiffly arched, their butts held tight, they strutted, bowed, and twirled their canes in a blatant parody of the way tight-assed, stiff-necked White folks moved.

    Jane Chafin: Breaking the Taboos of Blackface Minstrelsy

  • Mr. Fang was a lean, long-backed, stiff-necked, middle-sized man, with no great quality of hair, and what he had, growing on the back and sides of his head.

    Style in Fiction


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.