harden

verb
hard·​en | \ ˈhär-dᵊn How to pronounce harden (audio) \
hardened; hardening\ ˈhärd-​niŋ How to pronounce hardening (audio) , ˈhär-​dᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of harden

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to make hard or harder
2 : to confirm in disposition, feelings, or action especially : to make callous hardened his heart
3a : inure, toughen harden troops
b : to inure to unfavorable environmental conditions (such as cold) often used with off harden off seedlings before transplanting
4 : to protect from blast, heat, or radiation (as by a thick barrier or placement underground)

intransitive verb

1 : to become hard or harder
2a : to become firm, stable, or settled
b : to assume an appearance of harshness or severity her face hardened at the thought
3 : to become gradually acclimatized to unfavorable conditions often used with off plants hardened off before the first frost

Harden

biographical name (1)
Har·​den | \ ˈhär-dᵊn How to pronounce Harden (audio) \

Definition of Harden (Entry 2 of 3)

Sir Arthur 1865–1940 English chemist

Harden

biographical name (2)

Definition of Harden (Entry 3 of 3)

Maximilian 1861–1927 originally Felix Ernst Witkowski German writer

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Synonyms & Antonyms for harden

Synonyms: Verb

concrete, congeal, firm (up), freeze, indurate, set, solidify

Antonyms: Verb

liquefy (also liquify), soften

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Examples of harden in a Sentence

Verb

The presence of certain substances in the blood can cause the arteries to harden. These additives are designed to harden the steel. substances that can harden the arteries The news has hardened opposition to the government. He had been hardened by his years of military service.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Everything changed and my heart hardened along the way. Love Letters.com, "I’m not sure I want to date again," 27 June 2019 While the hardening provisions of the 2008 code have been shown to make a big difference in whether a house survives a fire, such upgrades can be pricey and out of reach for owners of older properties, so most don’t retrofit. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can California avoid a third year of fire catastrophe? Here’s what’s been fixed — and what hasn’t," 20 June 2019 The more both sides harden their resolve to tough it out, the greater the pressure on companies to hedge their bets on China and move elsewhere. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "The trade war is already pushing businesses out of China—and it could be permanent," 14 June 2019 His resolve was only hardened by the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, and Triumph became firmly, feverishly anti-American. Declan Leary, National Review, "Catholics vs. Libertarians in the 1960s," 11 June 2019 The goal is to melt excess oil from pores and leave skin feeling smooth and fresh — not tight or stripped as with some hardening charcoal masks. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "The Ordinary Debuts Its First-Ever Face Mask — and It's $12," 17 May 2019 Though Raphael’s influence dated back to the sixteenth century, the idea that painters should follow rules derived from his practice had hardened into orthodoxy after Sir Joshua Reynolds delivered his Discourses (1769–1790) to the Royal Academy. Ruth Bernard Yeazell, The New York Review of Books, "Unnatural Naturalism," 21 Mar. 2019 The reactions of voters, donors, and the political world to the personalities and policies of the candidates will start to harden from here, and the debates might also be seen as opportunities for a collective check-in. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "The Democratic Presidential Debates: The Candidates in The New Yorker," 26 June 2019 While there are several ways to harden civilian GPS receivers against attack, even without modifying the overall GPS system itself, none of those seem to be in wide use. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Claims of Tesla hack wide of the mark—we dig into GNSS hacking," 22 June 2019

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

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for harden

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harden

The first known use of harden was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for harden

harden

verb

English Language Learners Definition of harden

: to become hard or firm or to make (something) hard or firm
: to become more definite and strongly felt or to make (something) more definite and strongly felt
: to make (someone) hard : to make (someone) less emotional and less likely to feel sorry for other people

harden

verb
hard·​en | \ ˈhär-dᵊn How to pronounce harden (audio) \
hardened; hardening

Kids Definition of harden

1 : to make or become hard or harder By now the cement has hardened.
2 : to make or become hardy or strong Years of tough work had hardened his muscles.
3 : to make or become stubborn or unfeeling She hardened her heart and refused to forgive him.

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More from Merriam-Webster on harden

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with harden

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for harden

Spanish Central: Translation of harden

Nglish: Translation of harden for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harden for Arabic Speakers

Comments on harden

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