stiffen Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “stiffen” in the English Dictionary

"stiffen" in British English

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stiffenverb

uk   us   /ˈstɪf.ən/
(Definition of stiffen from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"stiffen" in American English

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stiffenverb

 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 ​gluemixture. [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 ​storeopens in ​town.
  • stiffen verb (BECOME NERVOUS)

[I] to ​becomenervous 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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