broad·​en | \ ˈbrȯ-dᵊn \
broadened; broadening\ ˈbrȯd-​niŋ , ˈbrȯ-​dᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of broaden

intransitive verb

: to become broad

Examples of broaden in a Sentence

They need to broaden their understanding of other cultures. The police have broadened the scope of the investigation. Her smile broadened when I told her the good news. The investigation has broadened to include the mayor's staff. His interests broadened to include art and music, not just sports.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Unilever also has broadened its targeting by gender and age, Mr. Weed said. Lara O’reilly, WSJ, "Some Marketers Moving Away From Dated Gender Targeting, Study Shows," 28 Jan. 2019 And for Paramount and its Transformers universe ambitions, Bumblebee is a best-case scenario, demonstrating that the franchise can shift gears and expand in new directions, and broaden its demographic appeal at the same time. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Bumblebee proves Transformers movies can actually be resonant and emotional," 20 Dec. 2018 Now, Trump's rules on the subject, which are essentially identical to those first introduced last year but are now final, broaden that exemption. Mattie Quinn, SELF, "Here's What Trump's Final Rules on Birth Control Coverage Mean for You," 13 Nov. 2018 The majority of Connecticut’s congressional delegation Tuesday called for broadening an ongoing probe of how the federal government is handling a proposal by the state’s two tribal casino operators to jointly establish a casino in East Windsor. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "State's Congressional Delegation Presses For Broader Probe Of Federal Government's Handling Of Casino Proposals," 13 June 2018 To hear a trombone play a soft, lyrically seductive melodic phrase in the introduction of the Second Symphony — something that was new to symphonic music — was not incompetence but a vision for broadening of the aspects of beauty. Mark Swed,, "Dudamel untangles the strangeness of Schumann's symphonies," 29 May 2018 No new efforts to expand such protections were announced, but activists on both sides expect the administration will try to broaden them in the future. Time, "New Trump Office Will Protect 'Conscience and Religious Freedom' Rights of Doctors," 19 Jan. 2018 So just 18 months after Transformers: The Last Knight arrived in theatres, Paramount Pictures is hoping to broaden the definition of what a Transformers film can be. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Bumblebee proves Transformers movies can actually be resonant and emotional," 20 Dec. 2018 The administration broadens the current definition to noncash assistance for food, housing and health care, which immigrants can legally use, and would apply not just to people currently in the country but those seeking to enter legally. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Business Leaders Voice Concern About Trump Plan to Crack Down on Immigrants Using Public Benefits," 6 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'broaden.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of broaden

1727, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for broaden

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for broaden

The first known use of broaden was in 1727

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More Definitions for broaden



English Language Learners Definition of broaden

: to make (something) wider or more general
: to become wider or more general


broad·​en | \ ˈbrȯ-dᵊn \
broadened; broadening

Kids Definition of broaden

: to make or become wide or wider

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More from Merriam-Webster on broaden

Spanish Central: Translation of broaden

Nglish: Translation of broaden for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of broaden for Arabic Speakers

Comments on broaden

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esteemed in general opinion

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