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

Nurse voted in favor of the new definition in the near-unanimous committee vote, despite previously saying it should be broadened. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "FCC panel wants to tax Internet-using businesses and give the money to ISPs," 12 Dec. 2018 Influenced by social forces like the labor movement, feminism, and the struggle for civil rights, 20th-century historians gradually broadened their vision beyond the old themes of politics and war to include a fuller range of humanity. Amy Crawford,, "Why is history always about humans?," 13 July 2018 As Hollywood has broadened its horizons to include movies led by women, written by women, directed by women, one question has always loomed: Will these films do as well as those from their male counterparts? Angela Watercutter, WIRED, "Ocean's 8 Is Good, but It's Time for New Stories, Not Just Gender-Swaps," 8 June 2018 Rubio, for example, has complained that the list of Cuban military enterprises subject to U.S. sanctions, drafted by the State Department, is limited and should be broadened. Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "State Department postpones event on Cuba after Sen. Rubio protests | Miami Herald," 17 May 2018 The governor took a gamble calling for a special session to expand an existing tax break that is already controversial with Democrats, many of whom want to trim rather than broaden it. Hillary Borrud,, "Kate Brown wins Oregon Democratic gubernatorial primary," 15 May 2018 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

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

26 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

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


to boil down or concentrate

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