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[hahrd-nis] /ˈhɑrd nɪs/
the state or quality of being hard:
the hardness of ice.
a relative degree or extent of this quality:
wood of a desirable hardness.
that quality in water that is imparted by the presence of dissolved salts, especially calcium sulfate or bicarbonate.
unfeelingness or jadedness; callousness.
harshness or austerity, as of a difficult existence.
South Midland U.S. ill will; bad feelings:
There's a lot of hardness between those two boys.
Mineralogy. the comparative ability of a substance to scratch or be scratched by another.
Compare Mohs scale.
Metallurgy. the measured resistance of a metal to indention, abrasion, deformation, or machining.
Origin of hardness
before 900; Middle English hardnes, Old English heardnes. See hard, -ness Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hardness
  • There is some mistake about the hardness of the times.
  • Diamonds are forever, and so is their extreme hardness.
  • Hallways and small rooms bounce light around, which can counter the hardness of the flash.
  • May your kindness inspire those silenced by greed and hardness of heart to speak the truth.
  • Bamboo flooring is durable and exhibits a hardness similar to hardwood flooring materials, such as oak.
  • That's going from the hardness of a pencil eraser to the hardness of a car tire.
  • Indeed, until now, no developer has got so far as to worry about the hardness of the rock.
  • He forms sentences, follows novel instructions, and crafts stone tools-altering his technique depending on a stone's hardness.
  • Beneath the hardness of the crust lies the hollowness of a million cells.
  • But once in the brain, that hardness is a disadvantage.
British Dictionary definitions for hardness


the quality or condition of being hard
one of several measures of resistance to indentation, deformation, or abrasion See Mohs scale, Brinell hardness number
the quality of water that causes it to impair the lathering of soap: caused by the presence of certain calcium salts. Temporary hardness can be removed by boiling whereas permanent hardness cannot
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 hardness

Old English heardnysse; see hard + -ness. Meaning "difficulty of action or accomplishment" is late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hardness in Science
A measure of how easily a mineral can be scratched. Hardness is measured on the Mohs scale.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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