Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To make or become stiff or stiffer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make stiff.
  • v. To become stiff.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

  • v. become stiff or stiffer
  • v. make stiff or stiffer
  • v. restrict

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • American frigates in single-ship actions inflicted several startling defeats on the British, the strategic impact of which was merely to fire the outrage and stiffen the resolve of the British public.

    Between War and Peace

  • The game asks people to lie down on objects, but stiffen their bodies the same way they would if they were standing upright.

    How Planking Became the Internet's Latest Bored Game

  • The dark grey walls roared back at him so violently he could feel his belly tingle and his inner ear hairs stiffen.

    Well Water

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