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Stiffen   Listen
verb
Stiffen  v. t.  (past & past part. stiffened; pres. part. stiffening)  
1.
To make stiff; to make less pliant or flexible; as, to stiffen cloth with starch. "Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood."
2.
To inspissate; to make more thick or viscous; as, to stiffen paste.
3.
To make torpid; to benumb.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Stiffen" Quotes from Famous Books



... cried Pete, coming to the bedside, glass in hand. "Drink it up, boy. It'll stiffen you. My faith, but it's a oner. Aw, God is good, though. He's all that. He's ...
— The Manxman - A Novel - 1895 • Hall Caine

... Stiffen too rigidly, Decently, kindly, Smooth and compose them; And her eyes, close ...
— The Golden Treasury - Of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language • Various

... expands you beyond your common sense. One excess induces another, and a finer one. This acceptance of the ridiculous is good for you. It is particularly good for an Anglo-Saxon, who is so self-contained and self-controlled that his soul might stiffen as the unused limb of an Indian fakir stiffens, were it not for periodical excitements like that of the Christmas feast. Everybody has experienced the self-conscious reluctance which precedes the putting on of the cap, and the relief, followed by further expansion and ecstasy, which ...
— The Feast of St. Friend • Arnold Bennett

... Stiffen the body and raise yourself up by the strength of your arms until you rest on your hands ...
— The Hindu-Yogi Science Of Breath • Yogi Ramacharaka

... ready for us. Objects we travel on, if horses, often stampede or are stampeded; if wagons, they break down; if shanks, they stiffen; if feet, they chafe. No such trouble befalls Birch; leak, however, it will, as ours did this morning. We gently beguiled it into the position taken tearfully by unwhipped little boys, when they are about to receive birch. Then, with a firebrand, the pitch of the seams ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 62, December, 1862 • Various

... has written: "Once in possession of every fact in the case, the President withdraws, commences the business of consideration, comparison, and assessment, and then emerges with a decision." From such a decision it is difficult to shake him and continued opposition serves merely to stiffen his resolution. Wherever the responsibility is his, he insists upon the finality of his judgment. Those who have worked with him have remarked upon his eagerness, once he has decided a course of action, to carry it into practical effect. The President of the Czecho-Slovak Republic, Thomas G. Masaryk, ...
— Woodrow Wilson and the World War - A Chronicle of Our Own Times. • Charles Seymour

... of his own national and private existence, he has a singular tenderness for the stone-incrusted institutions of the mother-country. The reason may be (though I should prefer a more generous explanation) that he recognizes the tendency of these hardened forms to stiffen her joints and fetter her ankles, in the race and rivalry of improvement. I hated to see so much as a twig of ivy wrenched away from an old wall in England. Yet change is at work, even in such a village as Whitnash. At a subsequent visit, looking more ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... day will come when fate's decree And angry gods shall wreak this wrong on thee; Phœbus and Paris shall avenge my fate, And stretch thee here before the Scæan Gate." He ceased. The Fates suppress'd his laboring breath, And his eyes stiffen'd ...
— The Story of Troy • Michael Clarke

... should never consist of more than three sections, and the angler should look well to his joints after a wetting, as they are apt to swell and stiffen in ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 15, July 9, 1870 • Various

... warm, but a little too dark; soon he emerged again and glanced around, relieved to discover that the world was still in its old place. He was not clever at learning tricks. I tried to make him stand on his head, but he refused to stiffen out. Snakes have not much sense ...
— Alone • Norman Douglas

... the air Impregnate chang'd to water. Fell the rain, And to the fosses came all that the land Contain'd not; and, as mightiest streams are wont, To the great river with such headlong sweep Rush'd, that nought stay'd its course. My stiffen'd frame Laid at his mouth the fell Archiano found, And dash'd it into Arno, from my breast Loos'ning the cross, that of myself I made When overcome with pain. He hurl'd me on, Along the banks and bottom of his course; Then in his muddy spoils ...
— The Divine Comedy • Dante

... smile stiffen as he wondered what could be going wrong. Surely, they could not doubt his loyalty! A hasty glance at Colonel Korman revealed no expression on the military facade ...
— Irresistible Weapon • Horace Brown Fyfe

... rise behind Miller's ears. He could feel his hair stiffen like filings drawn to a magnet. His glance struggled to the soda fountain. What he saw there shook him to the core of ...
— The Day Time Stopped Moving • Bradner Buckner

... If the whole thing were not disposed of within the next few months the fellow would turn up again like a bad penny. It saved a thousand a year at least to get rid of him, besides all the worry to Winifred and his father. 'I must stiffen Dreamer's back,' he thought; 'we must push ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... be thinned down with sandpaper. If the dressed skin is wanted to lie flat as for a rug, it can be moistened on the flesh side; then stretched out and tacked fur side up on a board, the table top or the floor until dry. If this should cause it to harden or stiffen too much break it ...
— Home Taxidermy for Pleasure and Profit • Albert B. Farnham

... mites; you stiffen on a bench And stoop your curls to dusty laws; Your petal fingers curve and clench In slavery to parchment saws; You suit your hearts to sallow faces In sullen places: But no pen Nor pedantry can make you men. Yours are the morning and the day: You should ...
— The Child Under Eight • E.R. Murray and Henrietta Brown Smith

... until clear, then pour it into moulds and put them in a cool place to set. One calf's foot and one cow heel will be more economical than two calfs feet. If fruit is desired to be in the jelly, it must be put in when the jelly begins to stiffen in ...
— The Jewish Manual • Judith Cohen Montefiore

... distinctions, however, were unknown to Jane. If you were in a temper, you were in a temper. That was flat. And she rather wanted to rouse Nevil's. Heated opposition would stiffen ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... hold in fear, not in respect. He was to be avoided, not to be made friends with. The result was that, as did all boys, I came to regard the policeman on our beat as a distinct enemy. His presence meant that we should "stiffen up"; his disappearance was the signal for us ...
— The Americanization of Edward Bok - The Autobiography of a Dutch Boy Fifty Years After • Edward William Bok (1863-1930)

... looking at her he would have seen the Leopard Woman's frame stiffen at the mention of this name. For a moment she ...
— The Leopard Woman • Stewart Edward White et al

... him from head to foot. He lifted his hands, as if he must cry aloud in anguish. Then suddenly his face and figure seemed to congeal and stiffen with some awful inward coldness—the frost of the last circle of the Inferno—it spread upon him till he stood like a soul ...
— The Unknown Quantity - A Book of Romance and Some Half-Told Tales • Henry van Dyke

... neck is paralysing, because the cervical nerve- centres are affected. The poor thing's legs stiffen; and all is over in a second. The murderess now sucks the victim's blood at her ease and, when she has done, scornfully flings the drained corpse aside. She hides herself once more, ready to bleed a second gleaner should the ...
— The Life of the Spider • J. Henri Fabre

... leg is broken below the knee, lay the boy on his back and put a pillow or a bag stuffed with grass lengthwise under it. Then put a board or a hewed sapling on the under side of the pillow to stiffen it, and bandage the pillow and the board or sapling firmly to the leg. If the boy has to be moved, ...
— Camping For Boys • H.W. Gibson

... sponge, three cups sugar, one cup butter, three eggs, one teaspoonful soda dissolved in a little water, one pound raisins, one teaspoonful each of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; flour enough to stiffen. ...
— Recipes Tried and True • the Ladies' Aid Society

... their footsteps and their laughter. They loved music, but they spoke of it with a stupidity that was revolting. The coarse indiscretion of their enthusiasm wounded the boy's modesty of feeling. When they praised a work that he loved it was as though they were insulting him personally. He would stiffen himself and grow pale, frozen, and pretend not to take any interest in music. He would have hated it had that been possible. Melchior ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... be said, it must be admitted that the Christian religion has something astonishing in it. Some will say, "This is because you were born in it." Far from it; I stiffen myself against it for this very reason, for fear this prejudice bias me. But although I am born in it, I cannot help finding ...
— Pascal's Pensees • Blaise Pascal

... he added, seeming to stiffen his shoulders in resentment at the calmness with which she regarded him. "I tell you that I waive the authority of a father and appeal to your gratitude; I remind you that I saved your life—leaped into the cold water and seized you, not knowing whose life I was striving to save at the risk of losing ...
— An Arkansas Planter • Opie Percival Read

... an absent, far-away look, his arms and legs seemed to stiffen, and a tremor ran through his limbs. Chris watched ...
— The Boy Chums in the Forest - or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades • Wilmer M. Ely

... one the North King's searching lance Touch'd, and they stiffen'd at their task, and died; And their stout leader glanced a farewell glance; 'God is as close by sea as land,' he cried, 'In His own light not nearer than this gloom,'— And look'd as one who o'er the ...
— The Visions of England - Lyrics on leading men and events in English History • Francis T. Palgrave

... happens that exactly these movements result from these feelings, that just these organs are affected by these passions? Might I not just as well want to know why a certain wounding of the ligament should stiffen ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... shut me from my kind; And, lest I stiffen into stone, I will not eat my heart alone, Nor feed with ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... are here, should mean continuous unfoldment, advancement, and this is undoubtedly the purpose of life; but age-producing forces and agencies mean deterioration, as opposed to growth and unfoldment. They ossify, weaken, stiffen, deaden, both mentally and physically. For him or her who yearns to stay young, the coming of the years does not mean or bring abandonment of hope or of happiness or of activity. It means comparative vigour combined with continually larger experience, and therefore even more usefulness, ...
— The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit • Ralph Waldo Trine

... he spoke, but here a low, venomous snarl from Black Bart checked his words. Kate saw him stiffen—his lips parted to a faint smile—his head tilted back a little as if he listened intently, though she could hear nothing. She was not a yard from him, and yet she felt a thousand miles away. His head turned full upon her, and she would ...
— The Untamed • Max Brand

... in their eyes; As if they could, the prudent fools, Adjust such live-long growth to rules, As if so strong a soul could thrive Fixed in one shape at thirty-five. Leave him to us, ye good and sage, Who stiffen ...
— Ionica • William Cory (AKA William Johnson)

... still thick enough in the brain of Bill Gregg to make him obey automatically. He stumbled into his clothes and then shambled dizzily to the door and opened it. As the light from the room struck down the hall Ronicky saw his friend stiffen to his full height and strike a hand across ...
— Ronicky Doone • Max Brand

... and it shall be done," can be fulfilled even to the letter, if we have the faith of the Apostles, and such as the Lord commanded them to have. For which is more strange, that a mountain should descend into the sea; or that mountains of water should stiffen of a sudden, and, firm as a rock only at an old man's feet, should flow softly everywhere else? All the city wondered; and the greatness of the sign was bruited ...
— The Hermits • Charles Kingsley

... strong and virile and brutal in him seemed to harden and stiffen in the moment after he had seen the beach-comber collapse limply on the sand under the last strong knife-blow; and a sense of triumph, of boundless self-confidence, leaped within him, so that he shouted aloud in a very excess of exhilaration; and snatching up a heavy ...
— Moran of the Lady Letty • Frank Norris

... was continuing these operations, she felt the child stiffen on her knee, and looking, saw the little eyes glide and roll as though drawn by a power foreign to the will. A neighbour, who was hastily called, declared it to be convulsions, and for some hours the little life hung in the balance. It was during these hours that Deborah fought ...
— Lancashire Idylls (1898) • Marshall Mather

... violent taking possession by an embodied force that had broken loose and was not to be controlled any longer. As his great voice had done a moment before, his great strength, too, seemed able to fill all space in its enveloping and undeniable authority. Every time she tried instinctively to stiffen herself against its might, it reacted, affirming its fierce will, its uplifting power. Several times she lost the feeling of the ground and had a sensation of helplessness without fear, of triumph without exultation. The inevitable had come to pass. She had foreseen it—and all ...
— The Rescue • Joseph Conrad

... very great pain, it is a grave mistake to put the knee in splints to prevent bending. What is wanted is to encourage bending as far as that can be done without much pain, so that the joint may not permanently stiffen. Even where, by the use of splints, permanent stiffness seems to have been brought on, the warm-water treatment recommended above will bring about a loosening and softening of the joint, which will permit first of a slight bending, and then, with ...
— Papers on Health • John Kirk

... of the dead silence, the clatter of a pebble struck on the girl's raw nerves and made her wince. She saw the muscles of Lynch's back stiffen and the barrel of his Colt flash up to cover the narrow entrance to the ledge. For an instant she hesitated, choked by the beating of her heart. Should she cry out? Was it the man really coming? Her dry lips parted, and then all at once a curious, slowly moving object barely ...
— Shoe-Bar Stratton • Joseph Bushnell Ames

... Branksome greets thee by me, Says, that the fated hour is come, And that to-night I shall watch with thee, To win the treasure of the tomb." From sackcloth couch the Monk arose, With toil his stiffen'd limbs he rear'd; A hundred years had flung their snows On his ...
— From John O'Groats to Land's End • Robert Naylor and John Naylor

... darkness seemed to stiffen with sudden attention. The voice was like, and yet not like ...
— Lo, Michael! • Grace Livingston Hill

... short, the commander-in-chief's unfitness was graphically portrayed in the conversation with Cornwall from the quarter gallery of the flag-ship. "If you approve and will go down with me, I will go down." Like so many men, he needed a backer, to settle his doubts and to stiffen his backbone. The instance ...
— Types of Naval Officers - Drawn from the History of the British Navy • A. T. Mahan

... in my power, and who would know it were I to leave your corpse to stiffen on the snow? But I bear you no ill will, and have no intention to hurt you. I would not harm a hair of your head. I will not subject you even to the inconvenience of having these fetters on your wrists, though you were unfeeling enough to place them ...
— The Lost Hunter - A Tale of Early Times • John Turvill Adams

... perfectly clean, stiffen it by dipping it into a little gum-water, and pin it out on a pillow, in the proper form, to dry. Then darn it with embroidery cotton, every square of the pattern being ...
— The Ladies' Work-Book - Containing Instructions In Knitting, Crochet, Point-Lace, etc. • Unknown

... rarest of all types of drama; because characters strong enough to determine and control a humorous plot almost always insist on fighting out their struggle to a serious issue, and thereby lift the action above the comic level. On the other hand, unless the characters thus stiffen in their purposes, they usually allow the play to lapse to farce. Pure comedies, however, have now and then been fashioned, without admixture either of farce or of serious drama; and of these Le Misanthrope ...
— The Theory of the Theatre • Clayton Hamilton

... course, but it seems particularly hideous, because I'm not a bit an immovable sort. I ride and play tennis and dance, all those things, more than most people. I care about them—a lot." One could see it in the vivid pose of the figure. "And, you know, it's really too much to expect. I won't stiffen gently into a live corpse. No!" The sliding, clear voice was low, but the "no" ...
— August First • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews and Roy Irving Murray

... heir was about to make his declaration, he felt his tongue stiffen at the recollection of the dead man, just put away in his grave, and a doubt seized him as to what lengths his father's benevolence might have gone. Flore, who was quite unable even to suspect his simplicity of mind, looked at her future ...
— The Two Brothers • Honore de Balzac

... the machine tolerably fairly and propel it and steer it, then comes your next task—how to mount it. You do it in this way: you hop along behind it on your right foot, resting the other on the mounting-peg, and grasping the tiller with your hands. At the word, you rise on the peg, stiffen your left leg, hang your other one around in the air in a general in indefinite way, lean your stomach against the rear of the saddle, and then fall off, maybe on one side, maybe on the other; but you fall off. You get up and do it again; and ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... will keep up the fire. My veins would stiffen without it. It has carried me so far, and it must to the ...
— Wild Bill's Last Trail • Ned Buntline

... bolting their own, they saw a great hound with stiff legs and erect hackles, alert in every hair of his body—but no supper. The supper, very slightly masticated and swallowed with furious haste, was already beginning its task of helping to stiffen Jan's fibers and give fierceness to the lift of ...
— Jan - A Dog and a Romance • A. J. Dawson

... the grocer, and Mr. Acroyd, the shoemaker, would be sitting there talking to Mr. Belk, who was justice of the peace. And they would see Papa. The young men squatting on the flagstones outside the "Farmer's Arms" and the "King's Head" would see him. And Papa would stiffen and draw himself up, trying to look ...
— Mary Olivier: A Life • May Sinclair

... was round me stiffen, and there was silence for a moment, then my lord swore a great oath, and let his clenched fist fall so heavily on the table, that the red French wine which stood before him splashed right out of the beaker, a foot or two in ...
— Tales From Scottish Ballads • Elizabeth W. Grierson

... hapless creatures small To sweet seeds that the withered grasses hold?— The little children of men go hungry all, And stiffen and cry ...
— Georgian Poetry 1920-22 • Various

... the capacity and fielding power of a club in this stage, but experienced onlookers knew the fallacy of such a premature decision. Often the very fellows who displayed carelessness in practice would stiffen up like magic when the game was actually started, and never make a sloppy play from that time on, their throwing being like clock-work and their stopping of ...
— The Chums of Scranton High Out for the Pennant • Donald Ferguson

... especially heavy artillery in which the Turkish army was notoriously weak, constantly arrived from Germany and Austria. Every train from the central countries brought German army officers and a sprinkling of German noncommissioned officers with which to stiffen the Ottoman troops. The army was mobilized and General Liman von Sanders, a distinguished German officer, was appointed inspector general of the Turkish army. Immense stores of food and munitions were concentrated at Damascus, Constantinople, ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII) - History of the European War from Official Sources • Various

... a handsome city, but distractingly regular. After walking about it for an hour or two, I felt that I would have given the world for a crooked street. The collar of my coat appeared to stiffen, and the brim of my hat to expand, beneath its quakery influence. My hair shrunk into a sleek short crop, my hands folded themselves upon my breast of their own calm accord, and thoughts of taking lodgings in Mark Lane over against the Market Place, ...
— American Notes for General Circulation • Charles Dickens

... sneeze. There is a chilly vapor off him—a swampish miasma—that puts me in a snuffling state, beyond poultice and mustard footbaths. No matter how I huddle to the fire, my thoughts will congeal and my purpose cramp and stiffen. My conceit too will be but ...
— Journeys to Bagdad • Charles S. Brooks

... eighty, or, prematurely, at fifty or thirty, repair does not equal waste, and degeneration of tissue results. More cells are destroyed by wear and tear than are made up from nutriment. The friction of the machine rubs the stuff of life away faster than it can be replaced. The muscles stiffen, the hair turns white, the joints crack, the arteries ossify, the nerve-centres harden or soften: all sorts of degeneration creep on till death appears,—Mors janua vitae. There the curves unite, and men and women ...
— Sex in Education - or, A Fair Chance for Girls • Edward H. Clarke

... of the night, startled many a wakeful warrior and timorous mother from their repose. But such sounds in a disorderly hamlet of barbarians were too common to create alarm or uneasiness; and the wary and the timid again betook themselves to their dreams, leaving the corse of their chief to stiffen on the ...
— Nick of the Woods • Robert M. Bird

... forth.—'Then,' said Davidson, 'we must crave help of Him that will hear us.' Not only was Melville excluded from the Assembly, but its business was not allowed to proceed till he left the town, lest he should stiffen the brethren who resorted to him for advice against the King's proposals. The royal measures were, after all, only carried by ten votes; and even that majority would not have been secured had the King not declared, with his usual disingenuousness, that he had ...
— Andrew Melville - Famous Scots Series • William Morison

... ordinarily used, makes the hemp more pliable to the rope-maker, and also renders the rope itself more convenient to the sailor for common ship use; yet, not only would the ordinary quantity too much stiffen the whale-line for the close coiling to which it must be subjected; but as most seamen are beginning to learn, tar in general by no means adds to the rope's durability or strength, however much it may give ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... "Good Heavens, no!" he cried. "I was speaking to the chauffeur." (Jackson's back seemed to stiffen a little.) "I've told him a thousand times to be careful about running up on people like that. Now this is the last time I'll warn you, Jackson. The next time you go. Understand? Just because you happen to be driving for me doesn't signify that you ...
— The Prince of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... apply this stigma in practice would be extremely difficult to carry out, would involve all kinds of difficulties and complications in trade and in finance, and that the threat of it is more likely than anything else to stiffen the resistance of the Germans and to force them to rely on their militarist leaders as their only hope of salvation. However, the Committee points out that recent legislation shows a desire to ascertain and ...
— War-Time Financial Problems • Hartley Withers

... fact, for now the fight was over the men began to stiffen, and several unexpectedly turned faint, it proving that though not a single man was seriously wounded, nearly every one of those who had followed Joe Cross in his gallant achievement of boarding the schooner, and in beating down the slaver's crew when they forced their ...
— The Ocean Cat's Paw - The Story of a Strange Cruise • George Manville Fenn

... be," said Jean. "What's the use of me if I'm not to help? No. Don't stiffen and look at me like that. I'm not offering you charity. Perhaps you may have heard that I've been left a lot of money—in trust. It's your money as much as mine; if it's anybody's it's God's money. I felt I just couldn't pass your door this morning, and I spoke to you, though I was frightfully ...
— Penny Plain • Anna Buchan (writing as O. Douglas)

... had a side view of the bird, but every three seconds the head would be jerked towards me, showing the bright yellow colour of the open mouth. The reeling would last about three minutes, then the bird would unbend or unstiffen and take a few hops about the bush, then stiffen and begin again. While thus gazing and listening I, by chance, met with an experience of that rare kind which invariably strikes the observer of birds as strange and almost incredible—an example of the most perfect mimicry in a species which has its own distinctive song and is not ...
— Birds in Town and Village • W. H. Hudson

... that had passed over you, and had given me so much pain!—my little Alma, who loved so dearly to give, and who has lately been so hard and cold that the very idea of an appeal from a poor family seemed to close her heart and stiffen her face into determined opposition. You cannot be a princess, dear, and do some great thing. I am afraid there was more pride than holy love in your plan. You should not think of yourself when you want to do good, but of your heavenly Master and his ...
— The Golden House • Mrs. Woods Baker

... Drouillard, and three of the Kentuckians, and started on up the left-hand stream with one boat. The current of the river seemed to stiffen. It cost continually increasing toil to get the boat upstream. They were gone for several days, and no word came ...
— The Magnificent Adventure - Being the Story of the World's Greatest Exploration and - the Romance of a Very Gallant Gentleman • Emerson Hough

... they shriek; and groans and dismal sounds Stun my scared ears, and pierce hell's utmost bounds. No more my heart the dismal din sustains, And my cold blood hangs shivering in my veins; Lest Gorgon, rising from the infernal lakes, With horrors arm'd, and curls of hissing snakes, Should fix me stiffen'd at the monstrous sight, A stony image, in eternal night! Straight from the direful coast to purer air I speed my flight, and to my mates repair. My mates ascend the ship; they strike their oars; The mountains lessen, and retreat the shores; Swift o'er the waves we fly; the ...
— The Odyssey of Homer • Homer, translated by Alexander Pope

... watched him, she saw his features stiffen, as though a suspicion, a foreboding ran ...
— The Coryston Family • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... mending the telephone-wire under fire; each time it would break they would curse and tremble, but immediately go out and repair it accurately, slowly, no skimped work, repeating the performance again and again. There is in our spirit some reserve force which on occasion the will uses to stiffen resolution—the second ...
— "Over There" with the Australians • R. Hugh Knyvett

... Son, and we're proud as Punch of you, that you want to be not only in America's 'First Hundred Thousand,' but in her 'First Ten Thousand.' We know it will stiffen your spine considerably to hear that your family are behind you. Well, we are—just ranks and rows of us, with our heads up and the colours waving. Even Grandfather and Grandmother are as gallant as veterans about ...
— The Whistling Mother • Grace S. Richmond

... wedge in the intestines of horses, thereby impeding and in some instances totally arresting the process of digestion. These balls, almost circular in form, are composed of minute and rather stiff hairs, and several have been found in one animal. These hairs, numerous on the heads; do not stiffen sooner than the period of full bloom; hence, until that stage is reached in the growth of the plants, the danger from feeding cured hay made from ...
— Clovers and How to Grow Them • Thomas Shaw

... stiff sort that wouldn't feel at home with me," observed Mrs. Belloc. "New York usually stiffens people up. It's had the opposite effect on me. Though I must say, I have learned to stiffen with people I don't like—and I'll have to admit that I like fewer and fewer. People don't wear well, do they? What IS the matter with them? Why can't they be natural and not make themselves into rubbishy, old scrap-bags full of fakes and pretenses? ...
— The Price She Paid • David Graham Phillips

... attitude was, to a large extent, justified because many articles of the heretical creeds were of purely pagan origin. Given similar conditions to-day, our easy tolerance of opinion would disappear. If Islam, for instance, were to-day a serious menace to the Faith, Christians would automatically stiffen their attitude towards monophysite doctrines. Toleration of the false Christology would, under those circumstances, be treason to the true. The Church of the fifth century was menaced from many sides. Monophysitism was the foe at her gates. That heresy ...
— Monophysitism Past and Present - A Study in Christology • A. A. Luce

... Bull and were out for mischief. They had been missing from the agencies several weeks; had been ghost-dancing with their fellows from Pine Ridge to the west, and were by this time probably on their way to swell the ranks and stiffen the back of that big chief of the Minniconjou Sioux—"Big Foot," as known to the whites, Si Tanka, as known to the Indian Bureau, and "Spotted Elk," so said Iron Shield, the scout, as known to ...
— To The Front - A Sequel to Cadet Days • Charles King

... that right leg on to the left and stiffen the knees with something (you'll probably be able to get a decent stick or two off that small tree), and shove the arm inside his leather legging. We've two pairs of putties you can bandage with, and there are puggries on all three topis. ...
— Snake and Sword - A Novel • Percival Christopher Wren

... they stiffen themselves, Richard. They know they are going to have their photograph taken, and can't ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... regularly jolly; though now he's a minister, perhaps he'll stiffen up and turn sober. Wont it be a shame if he does?" and Thorny looked alarmed at the thought of losing his ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, September 1878, No. 11 • Various

... that English was a foreign tongue to him seems to have intensified this quality; as though the hardness and steepness of its challenge forced the latent scholarship in him to stiffen its fibres to ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... a bit and called his orderly, who again impressed Johnny with his military preciseness when he stood at attention and saluted. Captain Riley's whole manner seemed to stiffen to that military preciseness, though Johnny had thought ...
— The Thunder Bird • B. M. Bower

... the fowl-run, professor," I broke in, with a moist, tingling feeling across my forehead and up my spine. I saw the professor stiffen as he walked, while his face deepened in colour. Ukridge's breezy way of expressing himself is ...
— Love Among the Chickens • P. G. Wodehouse

... seemed for an instant taken aback by these bold words, and by the high and strenuous voice in which they were uttered. But the sterner sacrist came as ever to stiffen his will. He held up the ...
— Sir Nigel • Arthur Conan Doyle

... it bled! Much that would help her! Ove Ramel offered to let them stay on at the Castle for Waldemar Daa's lifetime, but he got no thanks for his offer; I was listening. I saw the ruined gentleman stiffen his neck and hold his head higher than ever. I beat against the walls and the old linden trees with such force that the thickest branch broke, although it was not a bit rotten. It fell across the gate like a broom, as if some ...
— Stories from Hans Andersen • Hans Christian Andersen

... suds with Ivory or Castile soap and add to it a handful of salt to set the color. Wash each piece through this, and rinse through two clear waters to which just enough vinegar to taste has been added, the latter to brighten the color, then stiffen in cool starch and hang in the shade. When washing delicate colored fabrics a tablespoon of ox gall may ...
— The Complete Home • Various

... plank makes hard wheeling. If the planks are so long between the "horses" or "bents" used to support them, that they spring badly, it is usually a simple matter to nail a cleat across the underside of the planks and stand an upright strut underneath to support and stiffen the plank. ...
— Concrete Construction - Methods and Costs • Halbert P. Gillette

... grew dark, their hands began to stiffen, and they were carried off by the sea one ...
— Weird Tales from Northern Seas • Jonas Lie

... close the Wall vp with our English dead: In Peace, there's nothing so becomes a man, As modest stillnesse, and humilitie: But when the blast of Warre blowes in our eares, Then imitate the action of the Tyger: Stiffen the sinewes, commune vp the blood, Disguise faire Nature with hard-fauour'd Rage: Then lend the Eye a terrible aspect: Let it pry through the portage of the Head, Like the Brasse Cannon: let the Brow o'rewhelme it, ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... queer fellow? How's your middle leg? Got a match on you? Eh, come here till I stiffen it ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... in the Mormon's gaze. For an instant his face worked spasmodically, only to stiffen into a stony mask. It was the old conflict once more, the never-ending war between flesh and spirit. And now the flesh ...
— The Heritage of the Desert • Zane Grey

... inestimable saint, whose mission it is to find and protect the lost. It had become a household habit to appeal to Christian when one of every day's most common losses occurred. She would hearken; her little thin body would stiffen, like a dog setting his game, a spark would light in her brown eyes, and—how led who can say?—she would fly like a wireless message ...
— Mount Music • E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

... But I thought I would come down, in case she made a descent and you wanted some one to stand by and stiffen you." ...
— Happy Pollyooly - The Rich Little Poor Girl • Edgar Jepson

... so fill'd with bloody circumstance, Of this damn'd deed, that stiffen'd me with horror. Vardanes seem'd to blame the hasty act, As rash, and unadvis'd, by passion urg'd, Which never yields to cool reflection's place. But, being done, resolv'd it secret, lest The multitude should take it in their wise Authority ...
— The Prince of Parthia - A Tragedy • Thomas Godfrey

... her work in the kitchen Vaniman sat with the Squire in front of the fireplace and smoked his pipe, but not with his customary comfort; the tobacco seemed to be as bitter as his ponderings; he was trying to stiffen his resolution to go ...
— When Egypt Went Broke • Holman Day

... I could see Allyn stiffen as a peculiar sick look crossed Chase's dry face. And suddenly I heard all the ugly little nicknames—Subspace Chase, Gutless Gus, Cautious Charley—and the dozen others. For Chase was afraid. It was so obvious that not even the gray mask of his ...
— A Question of Courage • Jesse Franklin Bone

... planets scowl, Where hell hounds ravage, and the furies howl; Though chang'd, deform'd, still, still ye meet my view, Ye still are left to hear my last adieu! My friends, my children, gor'd with many a wound, Whose mangled bodies strew the ensanguin'd ground, To parch and stiffen in the blaze of day, Consign'd to vultures, and to wolves a prey, Your toils are past; no more ye wake to feel Lust's savage gripe, or rapine's reeking steel! And Thou, to whom my wedded faith was given, On earth my solace, and my hope in heaven, Approv'd in manhood, as ...
— Translations of German Poetry in American Magazines 1741-1810 • Edward Ziegler Davis

... of involution relate to its mouth and to its ligaments, for these structures are also chiefly muscle. The mouth of the womb, lately stretched to permit the exit of the child, gapes widely for a time; but ultimately its lips are drawn together, the tissues which compose them stiffen, and the canal which they enclose is narrowed to almost microscopical dimensions. When involution is complete, the uterus has so far regained its virginal character that no trace of childbirth remains other than a few small fissures in the margin ...
— The Prospective Mother - A Handbook for Women During Pregnancy • J. Morris Slemons

... fasten a cock's feather in his cap, almost like a gentleman, and hang his cloak over one shoulder, and pull up his hose till they almost cracked, so as to show off his leg? Ah, he had handsome legs, my poor Vito, and he never would use anything but pure beeswax to stiffen his mustaches. No, he never would use tallow. He was almost ...
— Marietta - A Maid of Venice • F. Marion Crawford

... steals jam in the pantry ought not to get poisoned. She should get after a pot of warm glue, which should be made to miraculously stiffen the moment she gets it into her mouth, and have to be gouged out of her ...
— The Fiend's Delight • Dod Grile

... of the 23. Scheme; and by the 2. Figure of the 26. Scheme; the one is a quilly or finny substance, consisting of several long, slender and variously bended quills or wires, something resembling the veins of leaves; these are, as 'twere, the finns or quills which stiffen the whole Area, and keep the other part distended, which is a very thin transparent skin or membrane variously folded, and platted, but not very regularly, and is besides exceeding thickly bestuck with innumerable small bristles, which are onely perceptible by the bigger magnifying Microscope, ...
— Micrographia • Robert Hooke

... fight with and slay this golden-winged, iron-scaled, long-tusked, brazen-clawed, snaky-haired monster, but he must do it with his eyes shut, or, at least, without so much as a glance at the enemy with whom he was contending. Else, while his arm was lifted to strike, he would stiffen into stone and stand with that uplifted arm for centuries, until time and the wind and weather should crumble him quite away. This would be a very sad thing to befall a young man who wanted to perform a great many brave deeds ...
— Famous Tales of Fact and Fancy - Myths and Legends of the Nations of the World Retold for Boys and Girls • Various

... of complete silence. Mrs. Boyce's face might have been seen by a close observer to quiver and then stiffen as she stood in the light of the window, a tall and queenly figure in her sweeping black. But she said not a word, ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... got down to work, and presently had a regular production line under way; stapling the wood splints, then wetting them with a resin solution and shaping them over a mandrel to stiffen, cutting the plastic film around a pattern, assembling and hanging the finished kites from an overhead beam until the cement had set. Pete Cope had located a big roll of red plastic film from somewhere, and it made a wonderful-looking ...
— Junior Achievement • William Lee

... particular good fortune in the matter of wind and weather had favoured England. She had won, against apparent odds, because her sons had found out on many a venturous voyage how the great game of war by sea ought to be played; and her enemy had not. She had won decisively. Philip might stiffen his pride and boast that he could yet send forth fleets mightier than the lost Armada. But on the day of the fight off Gravelines the doom of his power was sealed; and the Empire of the Ocean passed from ...
— England Under the Tudors • Arthur D. Innes

... felt himself to be, instinct told him that he could act now as it would be impossible to do later, when his wounds began to stiffen and his muscles to refuse to obey his will. No bones were broken. He could still keep his feet and use his arms; and when the faithful servant brought up a horse and helped his master to mount, Paul felt that ...
— In the Wars of the Roses - A Story for the Young • Evelyn Everett-Green

... to the crowded haunts of men, and the porter touching his hat to him for a prospective twopence at the railway station, is the welcome confessor of his disallowed divinity. It is, alas! the most common and humbling feature of human nature that we all stiffen our backs with pride when the knee of some fellow-creature is crooked in homage to us, although that homage may be bought for twopence! No wonder that the man in whose character vanity is the chief essence cannot long endure contact with Nature; Nature respects ...
— The Quest of the Simple Life • William J. Dawson

... feeling of dread far greater than I had felt when I was anticipating death by being drowned. I should have preferred drowning to a death like that; and when for a moment I dwelt upon the probability of such a fate, the blood ran coldly through my veins, and the hair seemed to stiffen ...
— The Boy Tar • Mayne Reid

... the Susquehanna. Tired as I was I could not forbear a smile when this Mohican saluted the noble river by its Algonquin name in the presence of those haughty Iroquois who owned it. And it seemed to me as though I could hear the feathered crests stiffen on the two Oneida heads; for this was Oneida country, and they had been maliciously reminded that the Lenape had once named for them their river under circumstances in which no Iroquois took any pride. ...
— The Hidden Children • Robert W. Chambers

... employes might probably be weeded out with advantage. The remaining tenth—thoroughly efficient—should be retained; but, whatever you do, do not break up Sir Evelyn Wood's army, which is destined to do good work. Stiffen it as much as you please, but with Englishmen, not with Circassians. Circassians are as much foreigners in Egypt as Englishmen are, and certainly not more popular. As for the European population, let them have charters for the formation of municipal councils, ...
— The Life of Gordon, Volume II • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... I perceived, by the uncovered window, that the yielding dusk of earliest morning rendered it unnecessary. Without it, the next instant, I saw that there was someone on the stair. I speak of sequences, but I required no lapse of seconds to stiffen myself for a third encounter with Quint. The apparition had reached the landing halfway up and was therefore on the spot nearest the window, where at sight of me, it stopped short and fixed me exactly as it had fixed ...
— The Turn of the Screw • Henry James

... stiffen with red battle-dew, Ye deem we choose the victors and the slain: Say, choose we them that shall be leal and true To the heart's longing, the high faith of brain? Yet here the victory ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, Issue 49, November, 1861 • Various

... Miss Ladd replied. "I see no reason for delay. I'd rather tell them now than just before or after we get to Hollyhill. If we tell them now they'll have a couple of hours in which to stiffen their courage. There are eleven girls besides you two. Suppose you call them here in three lots in succession, four, four, and three, and we'll tell them quietly what has occurred and give them a little lecture as to how ...
— Campfire Girls in the Allegheny Mountains - or, A Christmas Success against Odds • Stella M. Francis

... only must he fight with and slay this golden-winged, iron-scaled, long-tusked, brazen-clawed, snaky-haired monster, but he must do it with his eyes shut, or, at least, without so much as a glance at the enemy with whom he was contending. Else, while his arm was lifted to strike, he would stiffen into stone, and stand with that uplifted arm for centuries, until time, and the wind and weather, should crumble him quite away. This would be a very sad thing to befall a young man who wanted to perform a great many brave deeds, and to enjoy a great deal of happiness, in this ...
— Myths That Every Child Should Know - A Selection Of The Classic Myths Of All Times For Young People • Various

... feel the feminine side of the chapel stiffen—Hogboom was the worst fusser in college. He was chronically in love with no less than four girls and was devoted to dozens at a time. We had reason to believe that he was at that time engaged to two, and spring was only half over at that. ...
— At Good Old Siwash • George Fitch

... One always enjoys listening to his friend. What this Friend says to us will change radically our conceptions of Himself, and of life. It will clear the vision, and discipline the judgment, and stiffen the will. ...
— Quiet Talks on Power • S.D. Gordon

... the uniform he wore insulted by cowardly brutes without making a resistance of some sort? He knew he would be shot down instantly if he did, and they would be glad of an excuse, but that would be only cutting short the agony. The veins swelled on his forehead, and he felt his limbs stiffen. He made a sudden movement, but the big breed caught his arm and whispered in his ear. It was an Indian saying which meant that until the Great Spirit Himself called, it was folly to listen to those who tempted. It was not so much the hope these few words carried with them, as ...
— The Rising of the Red Man - A Romance of the Louis Riel Rebellion • John Mackie

... cool enough now," said Washington, his wet clothes already beginning to stiffen on his back in the wintry blast. "I shall not despair so long as I remember that one faithful saint is praying for me," referring to the ...
— From Farm House to the White House • William M. Thayer

... La Mothe's grip upon the chair grew more tense, and his hand so shook that the whole chair was shaken as he felt the girl stiffen against his knuckles. What his hopes were he did not dare admit, though the foundations of his faith were never shaken. Better even than the girl he understood how great was the issue Commines played for in his effort to move her from ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... late; for Alcantara was already staggering under the loss of blood, and soon fell to the ground. Pizarro threw himself on his invaders, like a lion roused in his lair, and dealt his blows with as much rapidity and force, as if age had no power to stiffen his limbs. "What ho!" he cried, "traitors! have you come to kill me in my own house?" The conspirators drew back for a moment, as two of their body fell under Pizarro's sword; but they quickly rallied, and, from their superior numbers, ...
— The History Of The Conquest Of Peru • William H. Prescott

... upon dust-colored frame houses set down at intervals on the dusty buff plain, each with its dusty wheat or barley field adjacent, the crop, not the product of the rains of heaven, but of the muddy overflow of "Irrigating Ditch No.2." Then comes a road made up of many converging wagon tracks, which stiffen into a wide straggling street, in which glaring frame houses and a few shops stand opposite to each other. A two-storey house, one of the whitest and most glaring, and without a veranda like all the ...
— A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains • Isabella L. Bird

... on poor old Ahuna, or let loose upon him the ghost of Kaaukuu's father, supposed to be crouching there in the corner, who commanded Ahuna to divulge to her the burial- place. I tried to stiffen him up, telling him to let the old ghost divulge the secret himself, than whom nobody else knew it better, seeing that he had resided there upwards of a century. But Ahuna was old school. He possessed ...
— On the Makaloa Mat/Island Tales • Jack London

... my dressing-room to tell me." Betty felt the whole slim body stiffen itself with a determination to seem calm. "He said he was going to find out where the old Duke of Broadmorlands was staying ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... experimentally how little pain is felt at the moment of a wound; which will explain the unconscious heroism of common soldiers in battle; very little but weakness through loss of blood is ever felt until wounds stiffen: further, a blow on the head not only dazes in the present and stupefies further on, but also completely takes away all memory of a past "bad quarter of an hour." At least I remembered nothing of how my worst misadventure ...
— My Life as an Author • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... sense is a coarse open texture of cotton or hemp, loaded with gum, and used to stiffen certain articles of dress. But this was certainly not the mediaeval sense. Nor is it easy to bring the mediaeval uses of the term under a single explanation. Indeed Mr. Marsh suggests that probably two different words have coalesced. Fr.-Michel says that Bouqueran ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... proportion of one equivalent for three of the total calcium is most convenient for the formation of oxychloride of calcium. If the mixture is made with carbonate of lime (pulverized chalk), it will not stiffen in the air; but if lime and carbonate of calcium are employed at the same time, the mass stiffens like cement, and can be moulded into bricks or plates. The best way to operate is to mix first a part of the ore and well pulverized ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 829, November 21, 1891 • Various

... very bad blood between them—you see that? And I heard the toff tell Zahn that the next time 'e saw 'im he'd about stiffen 'im. I heard it, or words to that effect. Now, I want you to bear witness that what I ...
— The Tale of Timber Town • Alfred Grace

... appeared, and under his instructions the end of the flexible hose from the crude oil tank was carried aboard and connected by a union to a pipe on the lower deck. A wheel valve at the tank was turned, and Merriman could see the hose move and stiffen as the oil began to flow through it. An hour later the valve was turned off, the hose relaxed, the union was uncoupled and the hose, dripping black oil, was carried back and left in its former place on the wharf. The second ...
— The Pit Prop Syndicate • Freeman Wills Crofts

... sunset tints faded from the sky; the far-off crests of the Orange hills grew darker; the nearer files of pines on the Whatnong Mountain became a mere black background; and, with the coming-on of night, came too an icy silence that seemed to stiffen and arrest the very wind itself. The crisp leaves no longer rustled; the waving whips of alder and willow snapped no longer; the icicles no longer dropped a cold fruitage from barren branch and spray; and the ...
— Thankful Blossom • Bret Harte

... all appearance, his first imperturbability. He had at first tried, in a quiet way and without much outward movement, to break his bonds. His eye had been seen to light up, his muscles to stiffen, his members to concentrate their force, and the straps to stretch. The effort was powerful, prodigious, desperate; but the provost's seasoned bonds resisted. They cracked, and that was all. Quasimodo fell back exhausted. Amazement gave way, on his features, to a sentiment of profound and bitter ...
— Notre-Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre Dame • Victor Hugo

... from our neighbor Williams, waiting for the squad to come and help me eat them. Very bad writing this, I know, by the light of the fire, holding the paper first folded, then bent, then skewed, anything to stiffen it and catch the light, while every moment I must shift it as I move my hand ...
— At Plattsburg • Allen French

... necessity of Counterbracing, there are various opinions. The object of it is to stiffen the truss and check vibrations. If a load be placed over any panel point, it causes that portion of the truss to sink, and produces an elevation of the corresponding panel point at the other end of the truss—thus producing a distortion, ...
— Instructions on Modern American Bridge Building • G. B. N. Tower

... his misused body stiffen, that when he was called it required another ten minutes and a second glass of whisky to unbend his joints and limber up ...
— Lost Face • Jack London

... dependence teaches them to trust in others. When they become voters, if they ever do, it may be feared that the pews will lose what the ward-rooms gain. Relax a woman's hold on man, and her knee-joints will soon begin to stiffen. Self-assertion brings out many fine qualities, but it does not ...
— The Poet at the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... fight. Some who fight see present human growth and the growth of human demands on resources as the stark unavoidable realities they are, and seek mainly to guide them and mitigate their effects. Others stiffen their necks against development to meet those demands, staunch enemies to all reservoirs and other forms of compromise, stubborn if highminded nay-sayers against the ...
— The Nation's River - The Department of the Interior Official Report on the Potomac • United States Department of the Interior



Words linked to "Stiffen" :   tighten, constrain, restrain, tighten up, rigidify, bound, loosen, ossify, starch, throttle, petrify, limit, stiffener, modify, alter, trammel



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