verb (used with object)
to make hard or harder: to harden steel.
to make pitiless or unfeeling: to harden one's heart.
to make rigid or unyielding; stiffen: The rigors of poverty hardened his personality.
to strengthen or confirm, especially with reference to character, intentions, feelings, etc.; reinforce.
to make hardy, robust, or capable of endurance; toughen.
Military. to reinforce the structure of (a military or strategic installation) to protect it from nuclear bombardment.
verb (used without object)
to become hard or harder.
to become pitiless or unfeeling.
to become rigid or unyielding; stiffen: His personality hardened over the years.
to become confirmed or strengthened: His resistance hardened.
to become inured or toughened: The troops hardened under constant fire.
Commerce. (of a market, prices, etc.)
- to cease to fluctuate; firm: When the speculators withdrew from the market, the prices hardened.
- to rise higher.
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- harden off,
- harden one's heart,
- harden up,
- hardenberg, friedrich von
Origin of harden
hard·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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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
- (of prices, a market, etc) to cease to fluctuate
- (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
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