noun \-nəs\

: the quality or state of being hard

Full Definition of HARDNESS

:  the quality or state of being hard
a :  the cohesion of the particles on the surface of a mineral as determined by its capacity to scratch another or be itself scratched — compare mohs' scale
b :  resistance of metal to indentation under a static load or to scratching

Examples of HARDNESS

  1. the hardness of a diamond
  2. The wood's hardness makes it suitable for carving.

First Known Use of HARDNESS

before 12th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Resistance of a mineral to scratching, described relative to a standard scale of 10 minerals known as the Mohs hardness scale. Hardness is an important diagnostic property in mineral identification. There is a general link between hardness and chemical composition (via crystal structure); thus, most hydrous minerals, halides, carbonates, sulfates, and phosphates are relatively soft; most sulfides are relatively soft (two exceptions being marcasite and pyrite); and most anhydrous oxides and silicates are hard. See also hardening.


Next Word in the Dictionary: hardnose
Previous Word in the Dictionary: hardmouthed
All Words Near: hardness

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up hardness? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More