[ hahr-dn ]
/ ˈhɑr dn /

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Nearby words

  1. hardboot,
  2. hardbound,
  3. hardcore,
  4. hardcover,
  5. hardecanute,
  6. harden off,
  7. harden one's heart,
  8. harden up,
  9. hardenberg,
  10. hardenberg, friedrich von

Origin of harden

Middle English word dating back to 1150–1200; see origin at hard, -en1

Related forms


[ hahr-dn ]
/ ˈhɑr dn /


Sir Arthur,1865–1940, English biochemist: Nobel Prize 1929.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for harden

British Dictionary definitions for harden


/ (ˈhɑːdən) /


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
  1. (of prices, a market, etc) to cease to fluctuate
  2. (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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper