broad·​en | \ ˈbrȯ-dᵊn How to pronounce broaden (audio) \
broadened; broadening\ ˈbrȯd-​niŋ How to pronounce broadening (audio) , 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

Moreover, after push-back from its union, the D.C. school district broadened its evaluation metrics. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Should Kentucky teachers be paid more for delivering high scores? Wayne Lewis thinks so.," 5 June 2019 Martz further broadened his game, said Nelson, by putting Fleet quarterbacks under center rather than in the shotgun, for about 80 percent of the plays. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Former Fleet QB still targets football career in NFL or XFL," 4 June 2019 But the government scrutiny of St. Luke’s broadened a few months later, when a patient died in the emergency room after staff used the wrong blood type during a transfusion. Mike Hixenbaugh, ProPublica, "Blistering Report Details Serious Safety Lapses at St. Luke’s in Houston," 17 May 2019 Let’s broaden out: People who are interested in Trump. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Republican fury about ‘bias’ on the internet is just a distraction, ThinkProgress founder Judd Legum says," 30 Aug. 2018 Wow, my literature tastes are really broadening by the day. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "A Romance Novel Based on Meghan Markle's Mother, Doria Ragland, Really is Coming Soon," 12 Apr. 2019 As sales have slowed, Apple has begun releasing three new models and adjusting hardware and software with market-specific features aimed at broadening the iPhone’s appeal. Tripp Mickle, WSJ, "‘It’s Been a Rout’: Apple’s iPhones Fall Flat in World’s Largest Untapped Market," 18 Dec. 2018 That might raise legal roadblocks to Medicare for All or other efforts to broaden health-care access even if Democrats rode a wave of discontent — and sloughed off industry lobbying — to claim the House, Senate (unlikely) and White House. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s gambit to kill Obamacare risks lives and opportunity," 29 Mar. 2019 The expansion gave states the option to broaden coverage to more low-income Americans, including men and people without children. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Voter Initiatives, Including Medicaid Expansion, Could Get Harder to Pass," 17 Feb. 2019

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

18 Jun 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 How to pronounce broaden (audio) \
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

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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