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.

before 900; Middle English hardnes, Old English heardnes. See hard, -ness

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World English Dictionary
hardness (ˈhɑːdnɪs)
1.  the quality or condition of being hard
2.  Mohs scale See Brinell hardness number one of several measures of resistance to indentation, deformation, or abrasion
3.  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

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
hardness   (härd'nĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
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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Example sentences
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.
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