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

Like many enthusiasts for applying evolutionary neuroscience to the humanities, Churchland appears somewhat battle-hardened. Lidija Haas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 10 June 2019 Operation Gatekeeper, the federal campaign to harden the border with fencing and law enforcement personnel in San Diego, had pushed migrants east to the Imperial Valley, and deaths were spiking. John Moore/getty Images, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trial revives debate: When does border humanitarian aid become a crime?," 9 June 2019 Callisto provides an opportunity for an actress to change up their look and public persona as the hardened Callisto and Eva Longoria (Overboard, Dora and the Lost City of Gold) seems like an actress who would have fun playing with expectations. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Who Can Play the X-Men Now?," 7 June 2019 Despite its strange shape, trajectory and lack of a tail, ‘Oumuamua is just a comet after all, its ice locked away beneath a tarlike crust hardened and desiccated by eons of bombardment by cosmic rays. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "It’s Never Aliens—until It Is," 9 Jan. 2018 But this time positions have hardened against Qatar, whose support for Islamist opposition groups has angered the Arab nations now boycotting it. Matthew Lee, The Seattle Times, "Pompeo: Qatar diplomatic crisis ‘has dragged on too long’," 13 Jan. 2019 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

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

16 Jun 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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