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[brawd-n] /ˈbrɔd n/
verb (used with or without object)
to become or make broad.
Origin of broaden
First recorded in 1720-30; broad + -en1
Related forms
overbroaden, verb
rebroaden, verb
unbroadened, adjective
extend, expand, enlarge, widen; enlighten, inform, educate; sophisticate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for broaden
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For Eleanore had been swift to use my success to broaden both our lives.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • Their ideas will broaden by and by, when they are as old as I am.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Her brogue was apt to broaden when pleasure pulled down her dignity.

    Dr. Sevier George W. Cable
  • British liberty was once more "to broaden down from precedent to precedent."

    Charles Carleton Coffin William Elliot Griffis, D. D.
  • It is Art that is going to civilize mankind; broaden his sympathies.

    All Roads Lead to Calvary Jerome K. Jerome
British Dictionary definitions for broaden


to make or become broad or broader; widen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for broaden

1727, from broad (adj.) + -en (1). The word seems no older than this date (discovered by Johnson in one of James Thomson's "Seasons" poems); broadened also is first found in the same poet, and past participle adjective broadening is recorded from 1850.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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