verb stiff·en \ˈsti-fən\

: to stop moving and become completely still especially because of fear, anger, etc.

: to become painful to move or use

: to become more severe or strong or to make (something) more severe or strong

stiff·enedstiff·en·ing \ˈsti-fə-niŋ, ˈstif-niŋ\

Full Definition of STIFFEN

transitive verb
:  to make stiff or stiffer
intransitive verb
:  to become stiff or stiffer
stiff·en·er \ˈsti-fə-nər, ˈstif-nər\ noun

Examples of STIFFEN

  1. She stiffened when he grabbed her shoulder.
  2. The dogs stiffened in alarm.
  3. The law would stiffen penalties for tax evasion.

First Known Use of STIFFEN

15th century

Related to STIFFEN

Rhymes with STIFFEN

STIFFENED Defined for Kids


verb stiff·en \ˈsti-fən\

Definition of STIFFEN for Kids

:  to make or become stiff or stiffer <The paper stiffened as it dried.>
:  to become tense and still <He stiffened with suspicion.>


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