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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


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for broadened

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • If our whole horizon of truth were not broadened, we could not possess this command.

  • Then suddenly that face cracked, broadened, spread to a grin.

  • The Captain's smile lost a little of its bitterness and broadened.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The smile on the face of Jabez broadened perceptibly, and he began to chuckle.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • I had broadened my palms to the cinch and the axe—I had laid my breast to the rain.

British Dictionary definitions for broadened


  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 broadened



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