verb (used with or without object)

to become or make broad.

Origin of broaden

First recorded in 1720–30; broad + -en1
Related formso·ver·broad·en, verbre·broad·en, verbun·broad·ened, adjective

Synonyms for broaden Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for broaden

Contemporary Examples of broaden

Historical Examples of broaden

  • 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.

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

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