stiffen Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “stiffen” in the English Dictionary

"stiffen" in British English

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uk   us   /ˈstɪf.ən/

stiffen verb (FIRM)

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

stiffen verb (LESS RELAXED)

[I] to ​become less ​relaxed and more ​formal: She stiffened when her ​formerhusbandwalked into the ​room.

stiffen verb (MORE SEVERE)

[I or T] to ​become or make something ​stronger or more ​difficult: These ​events have stiffened ​ourresolve to ​succeed. Penalties for ​sellingillegaldrugs 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 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 ​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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