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

Restaurant owners and worker advocates hope the operation, planned to start on Sunday, will not disrupt an industry already hurting for staff, or broaden into a wider investigation of employees not on the Trump administration’s deportation lists. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "Planned ICE raids are putting the restaurant industry on edge," 12 July 2019 The election of Donald Trump unsettled existing political alignments and broadened views of what is politically possible. Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, "The Right Liberalism," 11 July 2019 But this lizard's teeth are completely different from those of any previously found in this area, which broadens the diversity of species known to have lived at the site. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Trapped in place: A weird ancient bird foot in amber and the lizard in a Microraptor's stomach," 11 July 2019 The desire to give Chinese youngsters a horizon-broadening education unites flintily ideological officials and aspirational middle-class Chinese who care nothing for politics. The Economist, "Few things worry China’s elite more than getting their kids into Harvard," 11 July 2019 Surely broadening the ownership of business is a good idea. John Case, The New Republic, "An Economy in Waiting," 8 July 2019 The campaign also will advocate for policies that increase and broaden access to credit for underserved populations. San Diego Union-Tribune, "SD Habitat for Humanity joins nationwide affordable housing campaign," 8 July 2019 Others could purchase equipment, develop procedures and broaden their accreditation to follow suit, but the entire process could take months. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Four Texas DAs announce shared plan to stop charging low-level pot cases in light of hemp bill," 3 July 2019 And right now, broadening his horizons doesn’t involve a luxurious day off at the beach. National Geographic, "The Path to ‘Uncharted’ – Gordon Ramsay Seeks Culinary Inspiration in Far Flung Places," 2 July 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

16 Jul 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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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