View synonyms for harden



[ hahr-dn ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to make hard or harder:

    to harden steel.

    Synonyms: ossify, petrify, indurate, solidify

    Antonyms: soften

  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.

    Synonyms: nerve, brace, steel, fortify

    Antonyms: weaken

  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.

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.



[ hahr-dn ]


  1. Sir Arthur, 1865–1940, English biochemist: Nobel Prize 1929.



/ ˈhɑːdən /


  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 firmer

    they hardened defences

  4. to make or become more resolute or set

    hardened in his resolve

  5. intr commerce
    1. (of prices, a market, etc) to cease to fluctuate
    2. (of price) to rise higher



/ ˈhɑːdən /


  1. a rough fabric made from hards

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Other Words From

  • harden·a·ble adjective
  • harden·a·bili·ty noun
  • over·harden verb
  • pre·harden verb (used with object)
  • re·harden verb
  • un·harden verb (used with object)
  • un·harden·a·ble adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of harden1

Middle English word dating back to 1150–1200; hard, -en 1

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Example Sentences

A lot of publishers are emerging leaner and battle-hardened from the worst of the coronavirus.

From Digiday

These included battle-hardened forces from Misurata, Bashagha’s home city, which is a political and military power in its own right.

From Ozy

Like Westbrook, Harden is also 31, though his game relies far less on his athleticism.

Westbrook, Harden and Gordon are, in their purest form, head-down drivers who love attacking the basket, while the latter two plus Covington and Tucker can’t be left alone behind the arc.

The beetle can also breathe underwater via air pockets tucked under its hardened wings.

How great would it be if Michaela Watkins or Marcia Gay Harden was nominated for the canceled Trophy Wife?

Harden and former SNL star Michaela Watkins mine nuanced brilliance out of what could easily be ex-wife clichés.

In the meantime, expect attitudes to harden—and the country to remain at impasse.

The show really jumps back and forth through time this season, flashing back to the arbitration scenes with Marcia Gay Harden.

Fallon: This cast is so stacked with talent—Whitford, Harden, Watkins—that I expected Akerman to drown here.

As soon as the boy begins to harden, shell care no more for him than for a block of wood.

Does a real revolutionist need to prepare himself, to steel his nerves and harden his body?

He dismissed the nurses, therefore, and endeavoured to harden himself in advance to everything that could happen.

You see, my son, that the human frame has brittle bones—I will harden and yet supple them like steel.

Reef-tackles were ready to pull earings down, but the breeze veered to the east north-east and did not harden.


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