One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘stir until the mixture stiffens’
become stiff, thicken
set, become solid, solidify, harden, gel, congeal, coagulate, clot
2‘she stiffened her muscles’
become rigid, become stiff, make rigid, make stiff, tense, tense up, tighten, tauten
3‘attempts to intimidate them have only stiffened their resolve’
strengthen, harden, toughen, fortify, give strength to, reinforce, brace, steel, give a boost to
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