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harden

[hahr-dn]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make hard or harder: to harden steel.
  2. to make pitiless or unfeeling: to harden one's heart.
  3. to make rigid or unyielding; stiffen: The rigors of poverty hardened his personality.
  4. to strengthen or confirm, especially with reference to character, intentions, feelings, etc.; reinforce.
  5. to make hardy, robust, or capable of endurance; toughen.
  6. Military. to reinforce the structure of (a military or strategic installation) to protect it from nuclear bombardment.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become hard or harder.
  2. to become pitiless or unfeeling.
  3. to become rigid or unyielding; stiffen: His personality hardened over the years.
  4. to become confirmed or strengthened: His resistance hardened.
  5. to become inured or toughened: The troops hardened under constant fire.
  6. Commerce. (of a market, prices, etc.)
    1. to cease to fluctuate; firm: When the speculators withdrew from the market, the prices hardened.
    2. to rise higher.
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Origin of harden

Middle English word dating back to 1150–1200; see origin at hard, -en1
Related formshard·en·a·ble, adjectivehard·en·a·bil·i·ty, nouno·ver·hard·en, verbpre·hard·en, verb (used with object)re·hard·en, verbun·hard·en, verb (used with object)un·hard·en·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for harden

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Antonyms for harden

1. soften. 4. weaken.

Harden

[hahr-dn]
noun
  1. Sir Arthur,1865–1940, English biochemist: Nobel Prize 1929.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for harden

consolidate, nerve, set, buttress, thicken, strengthen, stiffen, freeze, amalgamate, reinforce, fortify, close, toughen, petrify, jell, compact, bake, fix, callous, ossify

Examples from the Web for harden

Contemporary Examples of harden

Historical Examples of harden


British Dictionary definitions for harden

harden

1
verb
  1. to make or become hard or harder; freeze, stiffen, or set
  2. to make or become more hardy, tough, or unfeeling
  3. to make or become stronger or firmerthey hardened defences
  4. to make or become more resolute or sethardened in his resolve
  5. (intr) commerce
    1. (of prices, a market, etc) to cease to fluctuate
    2. (of price) to rise higher
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harden

2
noun
  1. a rough fabric made from hards
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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 harden

n.

c.1200 (replacing Old English heardian) "to make (something) hard," from hard + -en (1). Meaning "to become hard" is late 14c. Related: Hardened (figurative sense of "unfeeling" is from late 14c.); hardening.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper