- 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 hardnesses
The prize (of long activity and sweet survival) is with those whose hardness is greater than other hardnesses.The Letters of Henry James, Vol. II
She told it in her own way with characteristic blindnesses and hardnesses, but the truth of it was this.The History of David Grieve
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
Word Origin and History for hardnesses
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.