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English definition of “stiffen”

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stiffen

verb uk   /ˈstɪf.ən/ us  

stiffen verb (FIRM)

[I] to become firm or more difficult to bend: Beat the cream until it begins to stiffen (= become firm). His body stiffened in fear.

stiffen verb (LESS RELAXED)

[I] to become less relaxed and more formal: She stiffened when her former husband walked into the room.

stiffen verb (MORE SEVERE)

[I or T] to become or make something stronger or more difficult: These events have stiffened our resolve to succeed. Penalties for selling illegal drugs have been stiffened. Stiffening competition in the market has led to a reduction in the company's profits this year.
(Definition of stiffen from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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