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

  • intransitive v. To become stiff or stiffer, in any sense of the adjective.
  • 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.

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


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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

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