- to make hard or harder: to harden steel.
- to make pitiless or unfeeling: to harden one's heart.
- to make rigid or unyielding; stiffen: The rigors of poverty hardened his personality.
- to strengthen or confirm, especially with reference to character, intentions, feelings, etc.; reinforce.
- to make hardy, robust, or capable of endurance; toughen.
- Military. to reinforce the structure of (a military or strategic installation) to protect it from nuclear bombardment.
- to become hard or harder.
- to become pitiless or unfeeling.
- to become rigid or unyielding; stiffen: His personality hardened over the years.
- to become confirmed or strengthened: His resistance hardened.
- to become inured or toughened: The troops hardened under constant fire.
- Commerce. (of a market, prices, etc.)
- to cease to fluctuate; firm: When the speculators withdrew from the market, the prices hardened.
- to rise higher.
Origin of harden
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. solidify, indurate; petrify, ossify. 4. fortify, steel, brace, nerve.
1. soften. 4. weaken.
- Sir Arthur,1865–1940, English biochemist: Nobel Prize 1929.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for harden
Harden and former SNL star Michaela Watkins mine nuanced brilliance out of what could easily be ex-wife clichés.These 5 ‘On the Bubble’ TV Shows Shouldn’t Be Canceled
April 9, 2014
In the meantime, expect attitudes to harden—and the country to remain at impasse.Grenade Attack Hits Downtown Bangkok
January 19, 2014
Fallon: This cast is so stacked with talent—Whitford, Harden, Watkins—that I expected Akerman to drown here.Fall-Winter TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2013–14’s New Shows
Jace Lacob, Kevin Fallon
July 16, 2013
Elsewhere, outside cash may have served only to harden voters' partisan allegiances.Does Big Money Buy Elections? Sometimes, But Not for Linda McMahon
November 7, 2012
Harden apparently found this lecture so unbearable that he skipped out halfway through.Yale Classmates Say Nathan Harden Gets Yale and Sex All Wrong
Kathryn Olivarius, Claire Gordon
August 24, 2012
These are the sorts of scenes that harden lads, and make them fond of risks.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Let me advise you, not to harden your mind; nor take up your resolution beforehand.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
Afterwards put them into a large dish, and set them in the sun to harden.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
What, my dear Cunningham, is there in riches, that they narrow and harden the heart so?The Letters of Robert Burns
I don't want you to be amongst bad men, who will harden your heart.Henry Dunbar
M. E. Braddon
- to make or become hard or harder; freeze, stiffen, or set
- to make or become more hardy, tough, or unfeeling
- to make or become stronger or firmerthey hardened defences
- to make or become more resolute or sethardened in his resolve
- (intr) commerce
- (of prices, a market, etc) to cease to fluctuate
- (of price) to rise higher
- a rough fabric made from hards
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
Word Origin and History for harden
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper