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Meaning of stiffen

stiff•en

Pronunciation: (stif'un), [key]
— v.t.
  1. to make stiff.
—v.i.
  1. to become stiff.
  2. 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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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