She would break down to some degree, and then stiffen back up.
The embrace caused Susskind to stiffen up “like an unwilling virgin,” he later said.
He tried mixing in various things to stiffen up the pyroxylin.
Tableware is "solid" even if it contains alloy enough to stiffen it.
He reviewed this study to stiffen the back-bone of his power of Attention.
I could feel them stiffen and chill to it as I had stiffened and chilled.
Mr. Buxton stopped abruptly, and the two men drew themselves up and seemed to stiffen, ever so slightly.
She saw him start and stiffen, but he tried to parry the thrust.
Marie, lay your hand on mine and leave it there until mine begins to stiffen.
If she couldn't be bright and cheerful, she could "swallow her sobs and stiffen."