stiffly

Use the adverb stiffly to describe something that's done in an awkward or rigid way. If you stiffly introduce yourself to your new neighbor, you're a little inept about it, not very graceful or smooth.

Something can move stiffly in a physical sense: your grandmother's knees might bend slowly and stiffly as she eases into a comfortable chair. You can also use stiffly when you're describing someone who is socially uncomfortable. A very formal little boy might stiffly welcome his guests to his seventh birthday party, for example. Stiffly comes from the adjective stiff, with its Old English root of stif, "rigid or inflexible.

Definitions of stiffly
  1. adverb
    in a stiff manner
    “his hands lay stiffly
    synonyms: stiff
  2. adverb
    in a rigid manner
    synonyms: bolt, rigidly
Word Family
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