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

Mr Gove broadened the debate by suggesting that large swathes of industry might be affected by rent-seeking. The Economist, "Good capitalism v bad capitalism," 7 June 2018 The illnesses in China have broadened a medical mystery that started in 2016, when U.S. Embassy employees and their family members began falling ill in Havana. Author: Steven Lee Myers, Jane Perlez, Anchorage Daily News, "Medical mystery grows as ailment afflicting U.S. envoys is now seen in China," 6 June 2018 And Crews’s commitment to excavating his own trauma on a national stage, an undertaking that can be equal parts cathartic and retraumatizing, crucially helps broaden the woefully narrow profile of victims whose stories are most readily believed. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Terry Crews and the Discomfort of Masculine Anxiety," 29 June 2018 In April 2017, a federal appeals court ruled the 1964 Civil Rights Act protected LGBT employees from workplace discrimination, setting up a likely battle before the U.S. Supreme Court as gay rights advocates push to broaden the scope of the law. Meredith Colias-pete, Post-Tribune, "LGBT community sees progress, challenges," 22 June 2018 As more people play PC games, the stereotypes are melting away, and the choices are broadening along with the demographics. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "Lenovo's Legion Y530 and Legion Y7000 gaming laptops are designed to be subtle," 11 June 2018 The South broadens the yawning health-and-prosperity gap between the two. Ryu Spaeth, New Republic, "What the Pyeongchang Olympics tell us about political theater in the era of Trump and Kim," 7 Feb. 2018 China is also broadening its capabilities with the DF-10A cruise missile. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Asia’s Quiet Missile Race," 2 Jan. 2018 Disagreement on some issues helps broaden our perspectives. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "If You Are Married to a Trump Supporter, Divorce Them," 11 Aug. 2017

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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Phrases Related to broaden

broaden one's horizons/mind

Statistics for broaden

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

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

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


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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