harden

verb
hard·​en | \ ˈhär-dᵊn \
hardened; hardening\ ˈhärd-​niŋ , 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 \

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

If the wax is still soft, freeze the item to harden the wax, and then scrape off the excess wax. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Way to Remove Candle Wax from Clothes, Carpet, and More," 24 Dec. 2018 Moscow is now watching for signals that progress can be made to improve relations, even as U.S. lawmakers look to harden punitive measures against Russia and consider imposing sanctions on Russian debt and energy projects. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Sen. Rand Paul Invites Russian Lawmakers to Washington," 6 Aug. 2018 When water, which is between 14 and 21 percent of concrete, is added, the cement hardens and holds everything together. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "How a 20-minute fire in the fatal I-84 crash ruined a concrete overpass," 22 June 2018 News analysis Why did Kim Jong Un recently harden his demands for the summit and stop working on plans for the Singapore meeting with White House and State Department officials? Andrea Mitchell /, NBC News, "The North Korea summit crumbled after China lined up against it," 24 May 2018 Los Angeles Times George Deukmejian, a perennially popular two-term Republican governor of California who built his career on fighting crime, hardening the state's criminal-justice stance and shoring up its leaky finances, died Tuesday. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "Essential California: Who will be L.A.'s next police chief?," 9 May 2018 My boobs were filling up with milk, hardening and tugging at the skin around my chest. Meaghan O'connell, Longreads, "A Certain Kind of Mammal," 10 Apr. 2018 Born in Arizona to Mexican immigrants, Chavez grew desensitized and hardened from his experiences as a migrant worker, and eventually co-created the National Farm Workers Association in 1962 with Dolores Huerta. Luis Miguel Echegaray, SI.com, "¡Si, Se Puede! Oakland A's to Host Cesar Chavez Day," 23 Mar. 2018 Mid-ocean ridges—gaps in the Earth's crust on the seafloor—leak magma into the ocean, which then hardens and is pushed out of the way by more magma. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid May Have Also Triggered Undersea Volcano Eruptions," 9 Feb. 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

29 Dec 2018

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 \
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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