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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to become or make broad.
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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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for broaden

develop, augment, enlarge, increase, widen, expand, ream, stretch, swell, spread, fatten, grow

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


  1. to make or become broad or broader; widen
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper