coars·​en | \ ˈkȯr-sᵊn How to pronounce coarsen (audio) \
coarsened; coarsening

Definition of coarsen

intransitive verb

: to become coarse

Examples of coarsen in a Sentence

Her hands were coarsened by years of hard work. He was coarsened by his time in prison. offensive words that coarsen the English language The book describes how popular culture has coarsened in recent decades.
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Recent Examples on the Web By transitioning from marketplace to megaphone, Twitter will further coarsen America’s political discourse. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "Why Twitter’s New Restrictions on Political Advertising Make No Sense," 7 Nov. 2019 But Democrats were helping to coarsen it long before Trump came along. Marc A. Thiessen, The Mercury News, "Thiessen: If Trump is responsible for El Paso, Democrats are responsible for Dayton," 8 Aug. 2019 In a country so divided and coarsened, does one person’s private struggle for moral purity really matter? Danny Heitman, WSJ, "‘Clean Curtains’ and New Year’s Resolutions," 30 Dec. 2018 Look, the culture has been coarsened, the entertainment industry, music, film, billboards, television, everything is over sexualized or too violent or just dumped down altogether. Fox News, "Kellyanne Conway: Not sure media is relevant, consequential," 3 Aug. 2018 Hasn’t much of what passes for professional athletics today coarsened enough to satisfy our basest instincts? WSJ, "It Does Matter How One Plays the Game," 24 June 2018 And there's no question that Trump, who called Mexican immigrants rapists, mocked a reporter with disabilities and branded protesting NFL players sons of bitches, has coarsened political discourse. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "America should be more at ease than this," 2 June 2018 Gwynns Falls Leakin Park, where the body in Season 1 of Serial was found, is not coarsened in speech. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "Seduce Me! The Untainted Sweet Sounds of Accent-Riddled Podcasts," 1 June 2018 In the process, though, the novel diminishes her vivid voice and personality, softens her views, and minimizes some essential relationships while sentimentalizing or coarsening others. Sarah Stone, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Varina,’ by Charles Frazier," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coarsen.' 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 coarsen

1805, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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The first known use of coarsen was in 1805

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Cite this Entry

“Coarsen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce coarsen (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of coarsen

: to make (something) rough or rougher
: to become rough or rougher
: to cause (someone or something) to become rude or offensive


coars·​en | \ ˈkȯr-sᵊn How to pronounce coarsen (audio) \
coarsened; coarsening

Kids Definition of coarsen

: to make or become rough or rougher His hands were coarsened by hard labor.

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More from Merriam-Webster on coarsen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coarsen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coarsen

Spanish Central: Translation of coarsen

Nglish: Translation of coarsen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coarsen for Arabic Speakers

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