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

The acquisition will broaden Taboola News’ reach through Start’s carrier partnerships that place it on some 20 million devices. Patience Haggin, WSJ, "Taboola Makes Acquisition to Bolster Its Take on Apple News," 4 Mar. 2019 Meanwhile, the growing importance of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks has broadened the philosophical debate. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The long, tortured quest to make Google unbiased," 6 Dec. 2018 The website's partnership with Firefox will broaden its reach significantly, however. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Firefox Now Lets You Know When You've Been Hacked," 25 Sep. 2018 In 2000, Germany broadened its citizenship laws so that any newborn would automatically be a citizen if at least one parent was a permanent resident (who’d lived in the country for eight years). Dara Lind, Vox, "Birthright citizenship, explained: why some on the right want to end it, and what they get wrong," 23 July 2018 Fifty years ago, the ever-evolving national park idea –– that a nation’s most majestic and sacred places should be preserved for all time and for everyone –– broadened again. USA TODAY, "Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan warn: Beautiful, unspoiled landscapes are disappearing," 25 May 2018 For decades a college education has been held up as just one entry point for those seeking a bigger paycheck, broadened career choices and more opportunity. NBC News, "Two counties tell the tale of a growing education gap," 20 May 2018 Our nursing students are required to take general core courses that are truly focused on broadening their perspective on the way to becoming better nurses and people. Cincinnati Enquirer,, "Xavier University’s School of Nursing Focuses on Educating and Serving the Whole Student with a Holistic Focus on Population Health," 7 May 2018 Like modern birds, Ichthyornis’s upper jaw was made of several bones and was somewhat bendable, allowing the tip of the snout to flex upward and broaden the bird’s gape when grabbing prey. Sid Perkins, Scientific American, "New Fossils Offer Clues about a Primordial Bird Beak," 2 May 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 Mar 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

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