- the state or quality of being hard: the hardness of ice.
- a relative degree or extent of this quality: wood of a desirable hardness.
- that quality in water that is imparted by the presence of dissolved salts, especially calcium sulfate or bicarbonate.
- unfeelingness or jadedness; callousness.
- harshness or austerity, as of a difficult existence.
- South Midland U.S. ill will; bad feelings: There's a lot of hardness between those two boys.
- Mineralogy. the comparative ability of a substance to scratch or be scratched by another.Compare Mohs scale.
- Metallurgy. the measured resistance of a metal to indention, abrasion, deformation, or machining.
Origin of hardness
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hardness
His district, just south of Washington DC was among the hardness hit by the trembler.FEMA’s Budget Disaster
Daniel Stone, Laura Colarusso
August 28, 2011
When she felt his hardness,” however, “the feelings evaporated.Natalie Portman's Dad's Bizarre Novel
April 26, 2011
I portray Mecca as it really was, which means in all its hardness and brutality.7 Books for the Spiritually Starved
September 18, 2010
Its hardness, solidity, and actuality could not be gainsaid.The Conquest of Fear
The hardness remained in Mary's face, as she continued to regard her friend.Within the Law
Yet now she must spoil it all, and all for the Father's hardness.
It may be that the hardness that was once there shows now upon my face—that is all.The Slave Of The Lamp
Henry Seton Merriman
But behind this ignorance there was no hardness of heart; only a narrow inexperience.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
- the quality or condition of being hard
- one of several measures of resistance to indentation, deformation, or abrasionSee Mohs scale, Brinell hardness number
- the quality of water that causes it to impair the lathering of soap: caused by the presence of certain calcium salts. Temporary hardness can be removed by boiling whereas permanent hardness cannot
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 hardness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A measure of how easily a mineral can be scratched. Hardness is measured on the Mohs scale.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.