Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive & intransitive verb To make or become stiff or stiffer.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To become stiff.
  • To become less soft or fluid; grow thicker or harder; become inspissated: as, jellies stiffen as they cool.
  • To become steady and strong: as. a stiffening breeze.
  • To become unyielding; grow rigid, obstinate, or formal.
  • To become higher in price; become firmer or more unyielding: as, the market stiffens.
  • To make stiff.
  • To make rigid, constrained, formal, or habitual.
  • To make more thick or viscous; inspissate: as, to stiffen paste.
  • To make stubborn or obstinate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To make stiff; to make less pliant or flexible.
  • transitive verb To inspissate; to make more thick or viscous.
  • transitive verb To make torpid; to benumb.
  • intransitive verb To become stiff or stiffer, in any sense of the adjective.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To make stiff.
  • verb intransitive To become stiff.

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

  • verb become stiff or stiffer
  • verb make stiff or stiffer
  • verb restrict

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • But the title might stiffen a cock or two in Dubuque.

    Shortcut Man

  • But the title might stiffen a cock or two in Dubuque.

    Shortcut Man

  • Dilloh's expression stiffen eL "You could talk to me."

    Only You

  • What he could not abide was negligence on part of officer or man, on part of superior or inferior, and he sought to "stiffen" Plume forthwith.

    An Apache Princess A Tale of the Indian Frontier

  • Get them all on-side by creating tiny eye-contact relationships with them, so when you get interrupted, they all kind of stiffen in your defense.

    MetaFilter Projects

  • Get them all on-side by creating tiny eye-contact relationships with them, so when you get interrupted, they all kind of stiffen in your defense.

    Popular Posts Across MetaFilter

  • She made her voice sound falsely bright and watched him stiffen.

    Western Man

  • Much progress has been made across the country, but such progress will be fragile indeed if we do not stiffen our spines against the temptation to lower the bar.

    Linda Rosen: Time to Raise the Bar

  • Much progress has been made across the country, but such progress will be fragile indeed if we do not stiffen our spines against the temptation to lower the bar.

    Linda Rosen: Time to Raise the Bar

  • Older discs, joints and tendons dehydrate and stiffen, becoming intolerant of pounding and jumping, but that's no reason not to be active, she says.

    Boomers, you gotta make that body last

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