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Stiffen   /stˈɪfən/   Listen
Stiffen

verb
(past & past part. stiffened; pres. part. stiffening)
1.
Become stiff or stiffer.
2.
Make stiff or stiffer.
3.
Restrict.  Synonyms: constrain, tighten, tighten up.  "Stiffen the regulations"



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"Stiffen" Quotes from Famous Books



... being that the Spaniard's bullet flew wide, while Jack's, aimed by a hand as steady as a rock, struck Alvaros' right elbow, completely shattering the bone and inflicting an injury that the surgeon, at a first glance, thought would probably stiffen the arm for the remainder of its owner's life, to the extent of very seriously disabling him. Under these circumstances Alvaros' second expressed himself satisfied, and declined any further shots; whereupon Jack and his friend left the ...
— The Cruise of the Thetis - A Tale of the Cuban Insurrection • Harry Collingwood

... herself. But this new shrinking from the most characteristic feature of the violent policy—this new softness and fluidity in a personality that when they first reached Maumsey had begun already to stiffen in the fierce mould of militancy—to what could any observer with eyes in their head attribute them but the influence of Mark Winnington—the daily unseen presence of other judgments and other ideals embodied in a man to whom the girl's feelings ...
— Delia Blanchflower • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... wrestling with death, he was uttering horrid oaths, and flourishing the cowskin, as though he was tearing the flesh off some helpless slave. One thing is certain, that when he was in health, it was enough to chill the blood, and to stiffen the hair of an ordinary man, to hear Mr. Sevier talk. Nature, or his cruel habits, had given to his face an expression of unusual savageness, even for a slave-driver. Tobacco and rage had worn his teeth short, and nearly every sentence that escaped their compressed grating, was commenced ...
— My Bondage and My Freedom • Frederick Douglass

... 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

... said; and steps came along through the hall; she opened the door as he came up. Mr. Buxton stopped abruptly, and the two men drew themselves up and seemed to stiffen, ever so slightly. A shade of aggressive contempt came on Hubert's keen brown face that towered up so near the low oak ceiling; while Mr. Buxton's eyelids just drooped, and his features seemed to sharpen. There was an unpleasant silence: Isabel ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... peals roll through the sky. 'The depths are congealed in the heart of the sea'—as if you were to lay hold of Niagara in its wildest plunge, and were with a word to freeze all its descending waters and stiffen them into immovableness in fetters of eternal ice. So He utters His voice, and all meaner noises are hushed. 'The lion hath roared, who ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... 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 on a man, the latchet of ...
— The Lost Hunter - A Tale of Early Times • John Turvill Adams

... stillness 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 floor of his ...
— Nick of the Woods • Robert M. Bird

... continued late; which in the end was a good thing for the year's cut. The season was capricious, hanging for days at a time at the brink of a thaw, only to stiffen again into severe weather. This was trying on the nerves. For at each of these false alarms the six camps fell into a feverish haste to get the job finished before the break-up. It was really quite extraordinary how much was ...
— The Blazed Trail • Stewart Edward White

... long as we 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 ...
— The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit • Ralph Waldo Trine

... fellow who, under the pretense of recording some particular stage in the development of a language, does what he can to arrest its growth, stiffen its flexibility and mechanize its methods. For your lexicographer, having written his dictionary, comes to be considered "as one having authority," whereas his function is only to make a record, not to give a law. The natural servility of the human understanding ...
— The Devil's Dictionary • Ambrose Bierce

... Here a Hungarian army had been defeated in 1599 by Rumanians under Michael the Brave. Hermannstadt, however, marked the high tide of Rumanian victory. At this point the resistance of the enemy began suddenly to stiffen. And then came the report that the Rumanians were observing German uniforms among the opposing forces. Again Germany had come to the rescue. On September 13, 1916, the first German troops to arrive on the scene came ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume VI (of VIII) - History of the European War from Official Sources • Various

... to such scenes, and to regard them lightly, threw off the sheet, and raised the corpses, one by one, that he might the better view them. One peculiarity Mr. Bloundel noticed; namely, that the limbs of these unfortunate victims of the pestilence did not stiffen, as would have been the case if they had died of any other disorder; while the blotches that appeared on the livid flesh made them objects almost too horrible to look upon. In many cases the features were frightfully ...
— Old Saint Paul's - A Tale of the Plague and the Fire • William Harrison Ainsworth

... and it is difficult to avoid damaging the smaller varieties. However, by firing with the full choke barrel at about fifty yards two or three pellets almost always hit even the smallest birds. A very good method of preserving them is to inject formol into the bodies which at once stiffen out and become rigid in any position they are placed. Birds can thus be set with the wings extended in a flying position or as if roosting, the effect being much prettier than any which can be obtained by stuffing. If is however, necessary ...
— A Journal of a Tour in the Congo Free State • Marcus Dorman

... her towards him. He felt her yield, and heard her draw a fluttering breath. Her head drooped so that he could not see her face; she was slipping into his arms, and then, in the moment of surrender, he felt her body stiffen. She put her hands on his shoulder and pushed him back; the canoe lurched and he had some trouble to prevent a capsize. The water splashed against the rocking craft, and Sadie, drawing away, fixed her eyes on him. She was breathless, but rather from ...
— The Girl From Keller's - Sadie's Conquest • Harold Bindloss

... now almost forgotten busk was a small slip of steel or wood, used to stiffen the stays. Florimel threatens to employ it as ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. II • Edited by Walter Scott

... her up tenderly; Lift her with care; Fashion'd so slenderly, Young, and so fair! Ere her limbs frigidly Stiffen too rigidly, Decently,—kindly,— Smooth and compose them; And her eyes, close ...
— Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works • Edgar Allan Poe

... of a painter who wished his arm to be fixed in a straight position, and of a turner whose knee at his own request was permitted to stiffen at a right angle, as that position allowed ...
— A Manual of the Operations of Surgery - For the Use of Senior Students, House Surgeons, and Junior Practitioners • Joseph Bell

... 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

... none o' the fellers. I knowed fellers try to kiss her; but her style was to stiffen them with a clip under the ear, an' they sort o' took the hint, an' never come back. But by-'n'-by a man from the Queensland border, he bought the place next ours but one; an' our two fam'lies got acquainted. Wonderful clever ole feller he was, in regard o' findin' ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... 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 ...
— Types of Children's Literature • Edited by Walter Barnes

... rocks, Forever shattered, and the same forever? Who gave you your invulnerable life, Your strength, your speed, your fury and your joy, Unceasing thunder, and eternal foam? And who commanded,—and the silence came,— "Here let the billows stiffen and ...
— Practice Book • Leland Powers

... fact or some novel idea. I suppose that people bred from childhood to lean their backs against the wall of the Creed and the church catechism find it hard to sit up straight on the republican stool, which obliges them to stiffen their own backs. Which of these two girls would be the safest choice for a young man? I should really like to hear what answer you would make if I consulted you seriously, with a view to my own choice,—on the supposition that there was a fair chance ...
— Over the Teacups • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... 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

... hard-grained little vein of common sense, against which my fanciful conceptions and poetical notions are apt to hit with just a little sharp grating, if they are not well put. In fact, this kind of woman needs carefully to be idealized in the process of education, or she will stiffen and dry, as she grows old, into a veritable household Pharisee, a sort of domestic tyrant. She needs to be trained in artistic values and artistic weights and measures, to study all the arts and sciences of the beautiful, and ...
— Household Papers and Stories • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... of these words upon Grassette was remarkable. His body appeared to stiffen, his face became rigid, he stared at the Governor blankly, appalled; the color left his face, and his mouth opened with a curious and revolting grimace. The others drew back, startled, and ...
— Northern Lights • Gilbert Parker

... saw him stiffen in the chair, and his eyes narrow. The chains of fear and of shame which ...
— Alcatraz • Max Brand

... other persons or creatures the expression of that feeling of emotion."[2] The behavior of animals exhibits the external features of sympathetic action very clearly. "Two dogs begin to growl or fight, and at once all the dogs within sound and sight stiffen themselves, and show every symptom of anger. Or one beast in a herd stands arrested, gazing in curiosity on some unfamiliar object, and presently his fellows also, to whom the object may be invisible, display curiosity and come up ...
— Human Traits and their Social Significance • Irwin Edman

... "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 ...
— The Prince of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... tooth still in place, and a small package upon which the name of the Saviour was inscribed. The lady picked up the package, when immediately the most fragrant odor pervaded the apartment, being exhaled by the miraculous packet, while the hand that held it was seen perceptibly to swell and stiffen; investigation proved it to be the holy prepuce stolen by the miscreant mercenary from St. John Lateran. It is related that in 1559, a canon of the church of St. John Lateran, impelled by a worldly curiosity untempered by piety, undertook to make a critical examination of this relic, in the ...
— History of Circumcision from the Earliest Times to the Present - Moral and Physical Reasons for its Performance • Peter Charles Remondino

... 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 the Sockets. ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 15, July 9, 1870 • Various

... crank and turn once or twice. Fill space around can to within an inch of top with ice and salt (three parts crushed ice to one part salt), packing hard. Turn slowly at first, increasing speed when mixture begins to stiffen. Add more ice and salt as required. When mixture is very firm, wipe off cover, open can and remove dasher; scrape frozen mixture from dasher and sides of can, and pack down solidly; cover with paper and replace cover. Put cork in opening in cover. Pour off salt water if there ...
— The New Dr. Price Cookbook • Anonymous

... of iron thy bones shall environ, To brass-links the veins of thy frame Shall stiffen, and the glow of thy manhood shall grow Like the anvil that melts not in flame! But wert thou the mould of a champion bold For God and his truth and his law? Oh, then, though the fence of each limb and each sense Is broken—each gem with a flaw— Be comforted ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel , Volume I. - The Songs of Scotland of the past half century • Various

... none; for so they did discountenance poor Denys. And that whole day I wore in experimenting these German lasses; and 'twas still the same. An ye doff bonnet to them they stiffen into statues; distance for distance. But accost them with honest freedom, and with that customary, and though rustical, most gracious proffer, of the kissed hand, and they withhold neither their hands in turn nor their acquaintance ...
— The Cloister and the Hearth • Charles Reade

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

... live steam is opened and closed by the movement of a metallic diaphragm in the valve which is opened by spring pressure on one side and closed by steam pressure on the other side. To regulate this pressure, stiffen the spring to carry more, weaken it to carry less by turning the handle connected to this spring ...
— The Traveling Engineers' Association - To Improve The Locomotive Engine Service of American Railroads • Anonymous

... 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 ...
— Clovers and How to Grow Them • Thomas Shaw

... springing waters, and prevents their tides; Seizes the rolling waves, and, as a god, Charms their swift race, and stops the refluent flood; The opening valves, which fill the venal road, Then scarcely urge along the sanguine flood; The labouring pulse a slower motion rules, The tendons stiffen, and the spirit cools; Each asks the aid of Nature's sister, Art, To cheer the senses, and to warm the heart. The gentle fair on nervous tea relies, Whilst gay good-nature sparkles in her eyes; An inoffensive scandal fluttering round, Too rough to tickle, and too light to wound; Champagne ...
— Inebriety and the Candidate • George Crabbe

... found, Stiffen'd with frost upon the ground, And took her home; but when the fire Began new vigor to inspire, Swelling her neck with angry eyes, She fills the cot with hissing cries. The rustic then his axe did take, "Is this then the return you make? Is this your gratitude?" he said, ...
— Aesop, in Rhyme - Old Friends in a New Dress • Marmaduke Park

... green at the business, and had petitioned Mary Condon to engineer the strike. Freddie Drummond had had an inkling of what was coming, and had sent Bill Totts to join the union and investigate. Bill's job was in the wash-room, and the men had been called out first, that morning, in order to stiffen the courage of the girls; and Bill chanced to be near the door to the mangle-room when Mary Condon started to enter. The superintendent, who was both large and stout, barred her way. He wasn't going to ...
— The Strength of the Strong • Jack London

... dressing for dinner that night I took Jones to task, and tried to stiffen him up. I guess I must have mismanaged it somehow, for he said he'd thank me to keep my paws out of his affairs, and then went into the bath-room, where he shaved and growled for ten whole minutes. I itched to throw a bootjack at him, but compromised ...
— The Motormaniacs • Lloyd Osbourne

... seemed to the lad countless years the vise-like grasp was maintained upon his windpipe. He began to understand that his struggles were useless, and spent his entire energy in an effort to stiffen the cords of his neck, hoping to assist his breathing by so doing. Presently, as he ceased his struggles, the soldier who had so skillfully captured him set the lad ...
— Boy Scouts Mysterious Signal - or Perils of the Black Bear Patrol • G. Harvey Ralphson

... the door and through it, close on her heels, slipped Brent. For, a little space the confusion took no account of her coming but the city man was standing directly behind her and he saw the pliancy of her attitude stiffen and then across her shoulder he recognized in a rear door the tense figure of ...
— A Pagan of the Hills • Charles Neville Buck

... them they have a power over us just because of their natural offensiveness. They are like the sight of human blood: experienced soldiers tell us that at first men are sickened by the smell and newness of blood almost to death and fainting, but that as soon as they harden their hearts and stiffen their minds, as soon as they will bear it, then comes an appetite for slaughter, a tendency to gloat on carnage, to love blood, at least for the moment, with a deep eager love. It is a principle that if we put down a healthy instinctive aversion, ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... so profound that we could hear the horses in the distant stable-yard rattling their harness—one of the younger "Excelsior" boys burst into a hysteric laugh, but the fierce eye of Yuba Bill was down upon him, and seemed to instantly stiffen him into a silent, grinning mask. The young girl, however, took no note of it; following out, with lover-like diffusiveness, the reminiscences thus ...
— The Idler Magazine, Vol III. May 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... the victim creeps.— To him has destiny a spirit given, That unrestrainedly still onward sweeps, To scale the skies long since hath striven, And all earth's pleasures overleaps. He shall through life's wild scenes be driven, And through its flat unmeaningness, I'll make him writhe and stare and stiffen, And midst all sensual excess, His fevered lips, with thirst all parched and riven, Insatiably shall haunt refreshment's brink; And had he not, himself, his soul to Satan given, Still must he ...
— Faust • Goethe

... Mrs. Julian Jones stiffen, although she kept her gaze fixed balefully upon two mud-hens that were prowling along the lagoon shallows below us. "The hussy!" she hissed, once and implacably. Jones had stopped at the sound, but went ...
— The Red One • Jack London

... later life in Chicago and all the regions which he visited, brings into play his higher gifts and excludes his lower. Under slight obligation to imagine, he runs slight risk of succumbing to those conventionalisms which often stiffen his work when he trusts to his imagination. Avowedly dealing with his own opinions and experiences, he is not tempted to project them, as in the novels he does somewhat too frequently, into the careers of his heroes. Dealing chiefly with action not with thought, he does not tend so ...
— Contemporary American Novelists (1900-1920) • Carl Van Doren

... more than a moment in the making. Against the now paling sky I saw the Doctor's figure suddenly stiffen. Slowly he lifted the Sacred Crown from off his head and laid it on ...
— The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle • Hugh Lofting

... the streaming bullets, zoomed upward into a half loop and rolled into position to fire at the leading attacker. The German was slow and Larkin poured a stream of lead into the cockpit. He saw the pilot stiffen, as one who has received a sudden shock or surprise, and then slump down. The plane thundered on for a moment, then nosed down, out ...
— Aces Up • Covington Clarke

... him all the time she was speaking, and only half realised that her indignation was warmly simulated in order to produce an effect upon him and stiffen a wavering determination. For a moment Gaga did not speak. He was turning the matter over in his mind, and Sally saw the changes of opinion that passed across his face. Weakness, submission, obstinacy, bewilderment were all to be observed. Above all, weakness; ...
— Coquette • Frank Swinnerton

... want to do. Put it in such a disagreeable way that your backbone'll stiffen up a bit and give us something to start with. If I make you mad all the better—so long as you don't go back to fools like Gardner, who never hesitate to give a fellow like you a sample of what that drug'll ...
— Red Pepper Burns • Grace S. Richmond

... she 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 ...
— Lancashire Idylls (1898) • Marshall Mather

... then that I saw Markovitch's face that had been puckered with pleasure like the face of a delighted child suddenly stiffen, his hand moved forward, then dropped. I turned and found, standing in the doorway, quietly watching us, ...
— The Secret City • Hugh Walpole

... oppressive to his impatience, that he was beginning to think of giving up the idle venture, when suddenly he came face to face with a perpendicular and impassable wall of cliff. This curt arrest to his progress was just what was needed to stiffen his wavering resolution. He understood the defiance which his ready fancy had found in the stare of the eagle. Well, he had accepted the challenge. He would not be baffled by a rock. If he could not climb over it, he would go round it; but he would ...
— Kings in Exile • Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

... kid," said Moran, with a grin. Nor did he flinch when the weapon in Wade's hand seemed actually to stiffen under ...
— Hidden Gold • Wilder Anthony

... she entered with the confident air of the morning. Directly she saw Viola, however, she seemed to stiffen with resentment, and ...
— Five Nights • Victoria Cross

... eyes, and waits to see How sweet its waking smile will be. The tempest now may smite, the sleet All night on the drowned furrow beat, And winds that from the cloudy hold Of winter, breathe the bitter cold, Stiffen to stone the yellow-mould, Yet safe shall lie the wheat; Till, out of heaven's unmeasured blue, Shall walk again the genial year, To wake with warmth, and nurse with dew, The germs we lay to slumber here. O blessed harvest yet to be! Abide thou ...
— Choice Specimens of American Literature, And Literary Reader - Being Selections from the Chief American Writers • Benj. N. Martin

... reddened, and the striking-muscles of his arms and shoulders seemed to stiffen and grow tense. His wife fluttered ...
— Brown Wolf and Other Jack London Stories - Chosen and Edited By Franklin K. Mathiews • Jack London

... for a moment, dropped his hand and slowly turned away. Mr. Challoner felt Oswald stiffen in his arms, and break suddenly away, only to stop short before he had taken one of the half dozen steps between ...
— Initials Only • Anna Katharine Green

... seemed to stiffen into resistance. His eyelids drooped, and little lines showed themselves suddenly at either side of his thin mouth. His father saw it too, for the hand that he had lifted entreatingly sank again, and his voice was tremulous as ...
— The King's Achievement • Robert Hugh Benson

... in the snow so as to stiffen whilst the coffins are being made, and the wounded are being attended ...
— The Knights of the Cross • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... TO STIFFEN NEW NEEDLEWORK.—In the chapter on Irish lace, page 441, we said that new needlework of that kind had to be ironed; this should be done in the following manner: when the lace has been taken off its foundation, lay it, face downwards, on a piece of fine white ...
— Encyclopedia of Needlework • Therese de Dillmont

... form; but it appears to have some physical influence over us. In looking at a fine drawing, say of a strong man, we seem to identify ourselves with it and feel a thrill of its strength in our own bodies, prompting us to set our teeth, stiffen our frame, and exclaim "That's fine." Or, when looking at the drawing of a beautiful woman, we are softened by its charm and feel in ourselves something of its sweetness as we exclaim, "How beautiful." The ...
— The Practice and Science Of Drawing • Harold Speed

... floor with your face downward, and palms of hands flat upon the floor by your sides. (2) Inhale complete breath and retain. (3) Stiffen the body and raise yourself up by the strength of your arms until you rest on your hands and toes. (4) Then lower yourself to original position. Repeat several times. (5) Exhale vigorously through the mouth. (6) ...
— The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga • A. P. Mukerji

... 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 a ...
— Journeys to Bagdad • Charles S. Brooks

... throughout the country. Arms and ammunition, 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, Bagdad, and on the ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII) - History of the European War from Official Sources • Various

... a Cleeve, glancing swiftly at Bateese, saw his body stiffen suddenly with his hand on the tiller; saw his eyes travel forward, seeking his brother's; saw his face whiten. Dominique stood erect, gazing back, challenging. Beyond him John caught a glimpse of Father Launoy looking up from his breviary; ...
— Fort Amity • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... thine! My sovereign's charge, and adverse fate, Have made our meeting all too late; Yet this may Argentine, As boon from ancient comrade, crave— A Christian's Mass, a soldier's grave." Bruce pressed his dying hand—its grasp Kindly replied; but, in his clasp It stiffen'd and grew cold— And, "O farewell!" the victor cried, Of chivalry the flower and pride, The arm in battle bold, The courteous mien, the noble race, The stainless faith, the manly face! Bid Ninian's convent light their ...
— Purgatory • Mary Anne Madden Sadlier

... frame, and brings back a glow to the cheek and a lustre to the eye, and swiftness to the brain, and power to the whole nature. Or as some plant, drooping and flagging beneath the hot rays of the sun, when it has the scent of water given to it, will, in all its parts, stiffen and erect itself, so, when the Spirit is poured out on men, their whole nature is ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John • Alexander Maclaren

... watching that trigger finger. As he saw it stiffen he dropped suddenly almost to his knees, the bullet passing over his head and embedding itself in woodwork across ...
— Dave Darrin After The Mine Layers • H. Irving Hancock

... 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

... the president of the Whitewater Commercial Club, composed of the leading merchants of the town, and Mr. Noonan was the apostle of the liquor interests. Remington felt his back stiffen as he stepped ...
— The Sturdy Oak - A Composite Novel of American Politics by Fourteen American Authors • Samuel Merwin, et al.

... defence was much encouraged by the recent crushing defeat that the British fleet had met with in attempting to pass the American batteries at Charleston. Thrice welcome after the disasters of the unlucky Canada campaign, this success tended greatly to stiffen the backbone of the army, in the face of the steady and ominous accumulation of the British land and naval forces in the lower bay. Then again, the Declaration of Independence, read to every brigade in the army (July 9), was received with much enthusiasm. Now, for the first time since hostilities ...
— The Campaign of Trenton 1776-77 • Samuel Adams Drake

... weapon, a stone tied in a crotched stick, from the heap of wedding gifts, and smites PADAHOON to the earth, standing threateningly over him. The others stiffen into tense attitudes, drawing their blankets tighter, their eyes burning bright. PADAHOON draws the knife that hangs in a sheath ...
— The Arrow-Maker - A Drama in Three Acts • Mary Austin

... rest, And shades its eyes and waits to see How sweet its waking smile will be. The tempest now may smite, the sleet All night on the drowned furrow beat, And winds that, from the cloudy hold Of winter, breathe the bitter cold, Stiffen to stone the mellow mould, Yet safe shall lie the wheat; Till, out of heaven's unmeasured blue, Shall walk again the genial year, To wake with warmth and nurse with dew The germs we lay to ...
— The Writings of John Burroughs • John Burroughs

... contracted and dry; and the little fat that there may be is friable, and shrunk within its integuments. The flesh of animals slaughtered whilst under considerable depression of vital energy (as from previous bleeding) has a diminished tendency to stiffen after death, the feebleness of this tendency being in proportion to the degree of depression. It presents, also, an unnatural blue or pallid appearance, has a faint and slightly sour smell, and soon becomes putrid. When an animal has died otherwise than by slaughtering, its flesh is ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... of the motor disturbance. Even in infancy the motor signs of sexual excitement are the most obvious indications of orgasm; thus West, describing masturbation in a child of six or nine months who practiced thigh-rubbing, states that when sitting in her high chair she would grasp the handles, stiffen herself, and stare, rubbing her thighs quickly together several times, and then come to herself with a sigh, tired, relaxed, and sweating, these seizures, which lasted one or two minutes, being mistaken by ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... they came out into the busy mart. The old mahout congratulated himself upon the docility of his find. It would stiffen the bidding to announce that she was gentle. He even went so far as to pat her on the shoulder. The steel film did not cover all her nerves, so it would seem; the patted shoulder was vulnerable. She winced, ...
— The Adventures of Kathlyn • Harold MacGrath

... the advantage of being very quickly and easily prepared. She made a cup full of strong coffee, strained out the grounds very carefully, and added as much sugar and milk as though for drinking hot, and enough isinglass to stiffen it, and either left it in the cup or poured it into a mould, and when cold it was ready to turn out and serve as a jelly. This was only given occasionally, as it was not considered very strengthening; but nurse found it useful to ...
— The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII. No. 358, November 6, 1886. • Various

... still and lifeless, except for an odd cart or two on the high road, a few dotted figures in the village streets. Below the flying-men the packed thousands are crouched still to earth. At the sound of the engine's drone, at sight of the wheeling shape, square miles of country stiffen to immobility, men scurry under cover of wall or bush, the long, moving lines in the trenches halt and sink down and hang their heads (next to movement the light dots of upturned, staring faces are the quickest and surest betrayal of the earth-men to the air-men), the open roads are emptied of men ...
— Action Front • Boyd Cable (Ernest Andrew Ewart)

... in the wilderness! How romantic, how inexpressibly delightful, that idea seems to some minds! Ay, even when the weight of years begins to stiffen the joints and slack the cords of life the memory of God's great, wild, untrammelled, beautiful wilderness comes over the spirit like a refreshing dream and restores for a time something like the pulse ...
— The Buffalo Runners - A Tale of the Red River Plains • R.M. Ballantyne

... till it was close up, convinced us that the cavern was of an enormous length, and the words "Long Gallery" in the note which Soma had dropped came up before my mind. There was no doubt that the cave was the meeting spot which Leith had mentioned, and as I felt Holman's body stiffen as he shouldered against me for a share of the peephole, I knew that he believed that the treacherous brute was one of the three that were approaching behind the ...
— The White Waterfall • James Francis Dwyer

... stiffen in his chair. Lawler's smile, cold and mirthless, brought a pulse of apprehension through him, and Lawler's voice, slow, clear, and distinct, forced the blood from his ...
— The Trail Horde • Charles Alden Seltzer

... resumed, to 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 ...
— Notre-Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre Dame • Victor Hugo

... the same clearness of understanding as we; the same recognition that it is GOD and not the Devil who rules the World; the same power of discrimination between different kinds of truth.... Had our LORD come later, He would have come to mankind already beginning to stiffen into the fixedness of maturity.... The truth of His Divine Nature would not have been recognized." (pp. 24-5.)—Is this meant for bitter satire on the age we live in; or for disparagement of the Incarnate WORD?... But in the face of such anticipations, ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

... by the strong, there is great peace in finally giving up and lying down by the roadside. The hour often fiercely wished for, and as often repelled with awe, is here. The visible is about to become invisible. It is your turn to pass into the unknown. You have seen other faces stiffen, and other people carried out and forgotten. Your face is now going to chill the touch. You are going to be carried out. But, most wonderful of all, you who have been so keenly alive are glad to creep close to Death and lay ...
— Old Kaskaskia • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... most of those obstacles to give them strength," answered the Queen, her hands tightening a little. "The King would be pliant in my hands were this man not beside him to stiffen him. Is there any other man in the world who would have dared to put me to the test he did? ...
— Princess Maritza • Percy Brebner

... But kicks will stiffen the muscles, and starving a dog so as to get him ugly-tempered for a fight may make him nasty, but it's weakening to his insides, and it causes ...
— Ranson's Folly • Richard Harding Davis

... of it about with me for months. Where I got it matters nothing; the whole point is that a mere sniff reduces flesh to clay. I have never had any opinion of suicide, as you know, but I always felt it worth while to be forearmed against the very worst. Well, a bottle of this stuff is calculated to stiffen an ordinary roomful of ordinary people within five minutes; and I remembered my flask when they had me as good as crucified in the small hours of this morning. I asked them to take it out of my pocket. I begged them to give me a drink before they left me. And ...
— Raffles - Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman • E. W. Hornung

... never leave you alone again," he whispered passionately, but to his horror he felt her stiffen and fall to ...
— Balloons • Elizabeth Bibesco

... not to slake the thirst, but to colour, with an intoxication now soft, now strong, the most diverse emotions: the sadness of memories, the tendernesses of friendship, the transports of love, the warmth of the quiet house, when without the furious storm and the bitter cold stiffen the universe of nature. ...
— Characters and events of Roman History • Guglielmo Ferrero

... said Quin cheerfully. "You see, you can't stiffen a fellow's backbone, as you call it, for one thing and not another. When he found out he could stop drinking, he decided he could do other things as well. He's ...
— Quin • Alice Hegan Rice

... mountain range, And stretch'd the sky above, so that 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 ...
— The Divine Comedy, Complete - The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell • Dante Alighieri

... melted butter and lard; one-half cup brown sugar; one-fourth teaspoonful each of ginger and cinnamon; one heaping tablespoonful grated sweet chocolate, mixed to a paste with a little hot water. Blend the ingredients thoroughly, then stir in one teaspoonful soda in one cupful of sour milk; flour to stiffen. ...
— Stevenson Memorial Cook Book • Various

... feet, head downwards, over a fire, rolling on a bed of prickly thorns, jumping on a couch filled with sharp knives, boring holes in their tongues, and sticking their bodies full of pins and needles, or perhaps holding the arms over the head till they stiffen in that position. Meantime in other places whole regions are given over to sensual indulgences, and companies of abandoned women are connected with different temples and consecrate their gains to ...
— Ten Great Religions - An Essay in Comparative Theology • James Freeman Clarke

... the crown. Reform would be a self-denying ordinance, if not an act of political suicide, as well as a blow at George III. Privileged bodies do not reform themselves; proposals by Burke and by Pitt and by others were rejected one after another; and then the French Revolution came to stiffen the wavering ranks of reaction. Not till the Industrial Revolution had changed the face of England did the old political forces acknowledge their defeat and surrender their claim to govern the nation ...
— The History of England - A Study in Political Evolution • A. F. Pollard

... lively originals; but the difficulty was to get them of any truthful sort whatsoever, for the babies regarded the photographer—the kindest and mildest of men—with the gravest suspicion: and the moment he appeared, little faces, all animation before, would stiffen into shyness, and the light would slip out of them, and the naturalness, so that all the camera saw, and therefore all it could show, was a succession ...
— Lotus Buds • Amy Carmichael

... terribly angry at this, and I felt my lips stiffen, and it was as much as I could do to say, 'What could happen to break our engagement? Ephraim is solemnly promised to me, and it is just the same in God's sight as if we ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 122, December, 1867 • Various

... this strange and most unpleasant adventure. The old gipsy in the meantime set about arranging the dead body, composing its limbs, and straighting the arms by its side. 'Best to do this,' she muttered, 'ere he stiffen.' She placed on the dead man's breast a trencher, with salt sprinkled upon it, set one candle at the head and another at the feet of the body, and lighted both. Then she resumed her song, and awaited the approach of those whose voices ...
— Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... pounding, rubbing, and wringing soiled linen, thereby overtaxing the delicate physical system. While feeling tired and jaded, all reeking in perspiration, they rinse and wring the clothes out of cold water and hang them upon the line with arms bare, when the atmosphere is so freezing that the garments stiffen before they finish this part of the task. Is it any wonder that acute suppressions occur or ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... stiffen oddly; and again the thought came to her that perhaps this poor child's father had once been, perhaps still was, in the same category as ...
— The Ragged Edge • Harold MacGrath

... change 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 ...
— The Golden House • Mrs. Woods Baker

... 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

... European point of view, an extraordinary dearth of servants, and this endures in spite of a great peasant immigration. The servile tradition will not root here now; it dies forthwith. An enormous importation of European serfs and peasants goes on, but as they touch this soil their backs begin to stiffen with ...
— An Englishman Looks at the World • H. G. Wells

... the light pressure of Sir Reginald Elphinstone's hand upon his arm, and turning, he saw the baronet raise his hand and point. He looked in the direction indicated, and in a moment his frame seemed to stiffen with eagerness as he gazed. For there, standing knee-deep in a pool, some two hundred yards away, and quite alone, was an animal not unlike a giraffe, but very much smaller, and with a neck that, although not so long in proportion to its ...
— With Airship and Submarine - A Tale of Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... 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. Little evidences of the subtle but ...
— The Hidden Children • Robert W. Chambers

... 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 at the ...
— The Story of Troy • Michael Clarke

... for the value of the service itself, that He calls for it so long and so repeatedly, till at last the iron sinew gives way: no, but for the sake of bending the iron sinew itself, and when it is bent in one direction, I conclude He does not mean to stiffen it there, but would have it bend perhaps back to the very same position as at first it was so hard to bend it from, with this one wide difference, that in the first case it was so in its own will, but now in His will. Perhaps thou thinkest ...
— A Brief Memoir with Portions of the Diary, Letters, and Other Remains, - of Eliza Southall, Late of Birmingham, England • Eliza Southall

... recalled, too, the bitter voice with which his mother had spoken to a kinsman as she turned from the ragged burying ground, where only the forlorn cedars were green. She was leaning on the boy's thin shoulders at the moment. He had felt her arm stiffen with her words, and, as her arm stiffened, his own ...
— The Call of the Cumberlands • Charles Neville Buck

... on the folly of impatience and the necessity of repose. By thus long continuance in one posture, my sinews began to stiffen, and my reluctance to make new exertions to increase. My brows were heavy, and I felt an irresistible propensity to sleep. I concluded to seek some shelter, and resign myself, my painful recollections, and ...
— Edgar Huntley • Charles Brockden Brown

... sequence of events was permissible or even thinkable in the presence of game. The Dog at first intimation by scent must convey the fact to the Man, must proceed cautiously to locate exactly, must then stiffen to a point which he must hold staunchly, no matter how distracting events might turn out, or how long an interval might elapse. The Man must next walk up the birds; shoot at them, perhaps kill one, then command the Dog to retrieve. ...
— African Camp Fires • Stewart Edward White

... wine. The Summer looks out from her brazen tower, Through the flashing bars of July, Waiting thy ripened golden shower; Whereof there cometh, with sandals fleet, The North-west flying viewlessly, With a sword to sheer, and untameable feet, And the gorgon-head of the Winter shown To stiffen ...
— Poems • Francis Thompson

... this gaining the public highway, along which we would walk to the entrance to grandma's demesne. This was preferable to a short-cut and rolling under the barbed-wire fencing in the long grass sopping with dew, which at midnight or thereabouts would stiffen with the soft frosts of this region that would flee ...
— Some Everyday Folk and Dawn • Miles Franklin

... sackcloth couch the Monk arose, With toil his stiffen'd limbs he rear'd; A hundred years had flung their snows On his thin locks ...
— Sylvie and Bruno • Lewis Carroll

... speak lightly, although there was a plain vein of anxiety in his voice; for when a fellow has covered nearly thirty miles since sun-up, every rod counts after that; and following each little rest the muscles seem to stiffen wonderfully. ...
— Boy Scouts on a Long Hike - Or, To the Rescue in the Black Water Swamps • Archibald Lee Fletcher

... misery of longing, and once by the far-away barking of a dog. It came up deadened, as if from fathoms below. He stood up and listened, but the sound was not repeated. His lacerated feet burned and throbbed; his bruised muscles had begun to stiffen, so that ...
— Greyfriars Bobby • Eleanor Atkinson

... army by rapid movements between the two Belgian corps. That of the Meuse fell back in great disorder upon Liege; that of the Scheldt was also forced to beat a rapid retreat. Leopold, whose reign was not yet a fortnight old, joined the western corps and did all that man could do to organise and stiffen resistance. At Louvain (August 12) he made a last effort to save the capital and repeatedly exposed his life, but the Belgians were completely routed and Brussels lay at the victor's mercy. It was a terrible humiliation for the new Belgian state. But the prince had accomplished his task and ...
— History of Holland • George Edmundson

... areas that the federal government should not leave and should address and address strongly. One of these areas is the problem of illegal immigration. After years of neglect, this administration has taken a strong stand to stiffen the protection of our borders. We are increasing border controls by 50 percent. We are increasing inspections to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants. And tonight, I announce I will sign an executive order to deny federal contracts to businesses ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... so hard that you cannot find an easy spot to lie on. You are always worse before storms. After sitting a little while you stiffen up, feeling much better after moving about. The tendons of your legs have a drawing sensation, and feel as if too short. There is more or less of numbness and paralysis, and a wooden sort of feeling of the ...
— Doctor Jones' Picnic • S. E. Chapman

... about to answer and then, suddenly, he seemed to stiffen, his hand, which was conveying a match to his cigarette, remained motionless, the flame of the match flared up and then went out in a gust of wind. "Look, Bob, look," he said, in a low voice. "What do you see ...
— The Black Pearl • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... experiencing a sinking sensation, a feeling of collapse, at the order "Fix Bayonets!" their hands trembling violently over the task. But when the bugle sounds the charge, and the wild dash at the enemy's lines has begun, with the skirl of the pipes to stir up the blood, the nerves stiffen and the hands grip the rifle with grim determination. "It was his life or mine," said a young Highlander describing his first battle, "and I ran the bayonet through him." There is no time for sentiment, and ...
— Tommy Atkins at War - As Told in His Own Letters • James Alexander Kilpatrick



Words linked to "Stiffen" :   starch, stiffener, restrict, ossify, alter, confine, loosen, throttle, change, petrify, restrain, limit, modify, bound, trammel, buckram, rigidify, stiffening



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