stiffen

[stif-uh n]
verb (used without object)
  1. to become stiff.
  2. to become suddenly tense, rigid, or taut, as in bracing oneself for or drawing back from shock, fear, or displeasure: He stiffened, expecting to hear the worst.

Origin of stiffen

First recorded in 1490–1500; stiff + -en1
Related formso·ver·stiff·en, verbun·stiff·ened, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for stiffens

Historical Examples of stiffens


British Dictionary definitions for stiffens

stiffen

verb
  1. to make or become stiff or stiffer
  2. (intr) to become suddenly tense or unyielding
Derived Formsstiffener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for stiffens

stiffen

v.

1590s, from stiff (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Stiffened; stiffening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper