- a material that hardens another, as an alloy added to iron to make steel.
- the process of becoming hard or rigid.
Origin of hardening
- 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.
- 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.
Origin of harden
SynonymsSee more synonyms for harden on Thesaurus.com
1. solidify, indurate; petrify, ossify. 4. fortify, steel, brace, nerve.
1. soften. 4. weaken.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hardening
The quicker the finished product gets into the hardening cabinet, the smaller the ice crystals.The Secret to This Ice Cream: Pampered Cows
Jane & Michael Stern
May 18, 2014
The drug halts the development of atherosclerosis, a word referring to the hardening of the arteries.Scientists at Johns Hopkins Come Closer to Eliminating Heart Disease
April 25, 2014
The force of the two reacting spreads the foam through the chest cavity, hardening to apply pressure to any bleed sites.New 'Suspended Animation' Procedure Saves Lives by Replacing Blood with a Cold Electrolyte Solution
April 2, 2014
The hardening of an idea into a plan for a novel is a vague process and hard to describe.How I Write: Diane Johnson
January 15, 2014
Nor can the hardening of positions in Israel can be attributed to Israeli insecurity.Reading Lustick Carefully
September 20, 2013
They were street boys; their lives had been spent in a hardening atmosphere.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
He was hardening his throat, and so slept with a wet towel about it.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Blessed ignorance of the hardening influences of the coming years!The First Violin
Cf. Joseph and his brethren for this hardening of his heart.Cyropaedia
The whole year round the thorn has been hardening and sharpening.Parables of the Cross
I. Lilias Trotter
- the act or process of becoming or making hard
- a substance added to another substance or material to make it harder
- 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
- (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
Word Origin and History for hardening
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper