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Meaning of “stiffen” in the English Dictionary

(Definition of stiffen from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"stiffen" in American English

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us   /ˈstɪf·ən/
  • stiffen verb (MAKE FIRM)

[I/T] to become or make something firm or more difficult to bend: [T] To paint on linen, you first have to stiffen the fabric with a glue mixture. [I] His back stiffened up after the game.
  • stiffen verb (MAKE SEVERE)

[I/T] to become or make something more severe or difficult : [T] The measure would stiffen the penalties for driving without a license. [I] Competition will stiffen considerably if another store opens in town.
  • stiffen verb (BECOME NERVOUS)

[I] to become nervous and less relaxed: I stiffened when I saw him coming toward me.
(Definition of stiffen from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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