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harden

[hahr-dn] /ˈhɑr dn/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make hard or harder:
to harden steel.
2.
to make pitiless or unfeeling:
to harden one's heart.
3.
to make rigid or unyielding; stiffen:
The rigors of poverty hardened his personality.
4.
to strengthen or confirm, especially with reference to character, intentions, feelings, etc.; reinforce.
5.
to make hardy, robust, or capable of endurance; toughen.
6.
Military. to reinforce the structure of (a military or strategic installation) to protect it from nuclear bombardment.
verb (used without object)
7.
to become hard or harder.
8.
to become pitiless or unfeeling.
9.
to become rigid or unyielding; stiffen:
His personality hardened over the years.
10.
to become confirmed or strengthened:
His resistance hardened.
11.
to become inured or toughened:
The troops hardened under constant fire.
12.
Commerce.
  1. to cease to fluctuate; firm:
    When the speculators withdrew from the market, the prices hardened.
  2. to rise higher.
Origin of harden
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English; see hard, -en1
Related forms
hardenable, adjective
hardenability, noun
overharden, verb
preharden, verb (used with object)
reharden, verb
unharden, verb (used with object)
unhardenable, adjective
Synonyms
1. solidify, indurate; petrify, ossify. 4. fortify, steel, brace, nerve.
Antonyms
1. soften. 4. weaken.

Harden

[hahr-dn] /ˈhɑr dn/
noun
1.
Sir Arthur, 1865–1940, English biochemist: Nobel Prize 1929.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for harden
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The word itself does not mean to "harden," but to put into some intermediate state.

  • These are the sorts of scenes that harden lads, and make them fond of risks.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I hope you will not harden your heart against me, dear mother.

    The Judge Rebecca West
  • I don't want you to be amongst bad men, who will harden your heart.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • All this was well known to me, and yet I could not harden my heart against him.

    For The Admiral W.J. Marx
British Dictionary definitions for harden

harden1

/ˈhɑːdən/
verb
1.
to make or become hard or harder; freeze, stiffen, or set
2.
to make or become more hardy, tough, or unfeeling
3.
to make or become stronger or firmer: they hardened defences
4.
to make or become more resolute or set: hardened in his resolve
5.
(intransitive) (commerce)
  1. (of prices, a market, etc) to cease to fluctuate
  2. (of price) to rise higher
See also harden off, harden up

harden2

/ˈhɑːdən/
noun
1.
a rough fabric made from hards
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for harden
n.

c.1200 (replacing Old English heardian) "to make (something) hard," from hard + -en (1). Meaning "to become hard" is late 14c. Related: Hardened (figurative sense of "unfeeling" is from late 14c.); hardening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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