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

The debate over border wall spending has become hardened recently because both parties are playing to their bases. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "GOP Solidarity Over Wall Faces Test as Voters Press for Shutdown to End," 10 Jan. 2019 Canada’s Parliament unanimously condemned Trump’s criticisms of Trudeau and backed the government’s hardening stance over the NAFTA negotiations. Brian Bennett, Time, "This Is What Trump’s Impulsive Diplomacy Looks Like," 14 June 2018 Where Dylan aligned with a new folk thing that drew from old folk, particularly blues, old-time, string-band and vaudevillian fare from the '20s, '30s and '40s, Simon's musical skull hardened in the '50s. Houston Chronicle, "On Paul Simon, sad songs and being soft in the middle," 2 June 2018 And Buttigieg has hardened his rhetoric toward Pence, using President Donald Trump’s vice president as a foil representing an oppressive opposition. Brian Slodysko, The Seattle Times, "Buttigieg, once cordial to Pence, now critical amid campaign," 13 Apr. 2019 Cybersecurity can always be better and more coordination between agencies and industry, incentives for adopting best practices, and hardening the pipeline network against attack, are among the best ways to mitigate these 21st century threats. Don Santa, Houston Chronicle, "Commentary: Administration’s action on coal, nuclear solves a problem that doesn’t exist," 5 July 2018 But as time marches on—our arteries hardening, tendons fraying, career options narrowing—the only certainties are getting older and slower and, eventually, dead. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "I Hacked My Body So You Don't Have To," 25 June 2018 For Otis and his descendants, the bombing would harden their anti-union crusade for decades to come. Joe Mozingo, latimes.com, "Visionaries and scoundrels made the Los Angeles Times, which returns to local ownership after 18 years," 17 June 2018 Trump manages to lie in ways that hardened cynics never anticipated. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Did Trump Bribe Ukraine to Stop Cooperating With Mueller?," 2 May 2018

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

19 May 2019

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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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