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stiffen Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb become stiff or stiffer
    • He stiffened when he saw his boss enter the room
  2. verb make stiff or stiffer
    • Stiffen the cream by adding gelatine
  3. verb restrict
    constrain; tighten; tighten up.
    • Tighten the rules
    • stiffen the regulations

Stiff"en transitive verb
See Stiff.
imperfect & past participle Stiffened ; present participle & verbal noun Stiffening
  1. tiono make stiff; to make less pliant or flexible; as, to stiffen cloth with starch.
    Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood. Shak.
  2. To inspissate; to make more thick or viscous; as, to stiffen paste.
  3. To make torpid; to benumb.
Stiff"en intransitive verb
  1. To become stiff or stiffer, in any sense of the adjective.
    Like bristles rose my stiffening hair. Dryden.
    The tender soil then stiffening by degrees. Dryden.
    Some souls we see, Grow hard and stiffen with adversity. Dryden.

Webster 1913