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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web But party leaders have latched onto farming in an apparent effort to broaden their focus beyond migration and edge toward the political mainstream. Emily Rauhala, Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2024 Meanwhile, Democrats, with their expansive vision of government, and a desire to broaden the social safety net, embraced these tools as a way to keep costs down and make programs more politically palatable. TIME, 10 Apr. 2024 As part of plans to widen access to gender care and broaden the professionals involved, the NHS has also closed the previous provider of gender care for young people and replaced it with two new services in London and northwest England. Reuters, NBC News, 10 Apr. 2024 Last year, Google also broadened its terms of service. Nico Grant, New York Times, 6 Apr. 2024 But recently, our idea of exclusive travel has broadened. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 2 Apr. 2024 When paired together or in groups of four, the display broadens. The Indianapolis Star, 4 Apr. 2024 China began to broaden its presence in the global economy more than two decades ago, exporting cheap goods that appealed to U.S. consumers at the expense of factory jobs in many of those consumers’ hometowns. Fatima Hussein, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2024 The rebrand is meant to broaden its appeal to new generations, especially those who enjoy trying different cuisines, said Shani Seidman, chief marketing officer of Manischewitz’s parent company, Kayco. Jaclyn Peiser, Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'broaden.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1727, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of broaden was in 1727

Cite this Entry

“Broaden.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


broad·​en ˈbrȯd-ᵊn How to pronounce broaden (audio)
broadened; broadening ˈbrȯd-niŋ How to pronounce broaden (audio)
: to make or become broad or broader
broaden your horizons
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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