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stiffen

[stif-uh n] /ˈstɪf ən/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make stiff.
verb (used without object)
2.
to become stiff.
3.
to become suddenly tense, rigid, or taut, as in bracing oneself for or drawing back from shock, fear, or displeasure:
He stiffened, expecting to hear the worst.
Origin
1490-1500
1490-1500; stiff + -en1
Related forms
overstiffen, verb
unstiffened, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for unstiffened

stiffen

/ˈstɪfən/
verb
1.
to make or become stiff or stiffer
2.
(intransitive) to become suddenly tense or unyielding
Derived Forms
stiffener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for unstiffened

stiffen

v.

1590s, from stiff (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Stiffened; stiffening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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