Meaning of HARDEN in English


I. ˈhärd ə n, ˈhȧd ə n verb

( hardened ; hardened ; hardening -d( ə )niŋ ; hardens )

Etymology: Middle English hardnen, from hard (I) + -nen -en

transitive verb

1. : to make hard or harder : make firm, tight, or compact: as

a. : to convert into solid or stiffer solid form

harden an unsaturated oil by catalytic hydrogenation

b. : to make hard (as steel) by heat treatment, especially heating and quenching in water, brine, or oil

c. : to compact (felt) by applying moisture, heat, friction, and pressure

d. : to decrease the swelling and raise the melting point of (the emulsion layer of a photographic material) by chemical treatment

2. dialect England

a. : to make bold : urge on : encourage

b. : to strengthen or confirm especially in disposition, feelings, or a course of action : reinforce

hardened him in his determination to leave at once

a development that only hardened his conviction that he was right

3. : to make callous or unfeeling

hardened his heart against me

its influence did not harden him; he has always risen above cynicism — L.A.Triebel

4. : to make hardy or robust : inure , toughen

harden troops by long marches

coarse foods … help to harden the gums — Morris Fishbein

specifically : to inure to cold or other unfavorable environmental conditions (as by gradual exposure to lower temperatures or by decreasing the water supply) — often used with off

5. : to signify that the pronunciation of (a consonant letter) is plosive rather than fricative

intransitive verb

1. : to become hard or harder : acquire solidity, compactness, or rigidity

mortar hardens by drying

deviations harden into modes of action — John Dewey


a. : to become confirmed or strengthened (as in feeling, disposition, or course of action)

opposition began to harden — L.S.B.Leakey

b. : to become hard in temper or disposition

it was enough … to set up resistance in her: she hardened — Elizabeth Bowen

c. : to assume an appearance or give an impression of harshness or severity

her face hardened instantly — Margaret Deland

his face hardened into anger — Liam O'Flaherty

3. : to become higher or less subject to fluctuations downward : firm , strengthen , stiffen

prices … hardened quickly and drastically — R.F.Yates

hardening commodity markets


inure , season , acclimatize , acclimate : harden in the sense pertinent here, is to habituate or toughen, usually by degrees, to what generally causes pain or discomfort, or to make slowly callous to what usually affects the feelings

frontier life hardened most men quickly to rough conditions, often to extreme privations

not yet hardened to the wicked world of international politics — Dexter Perkins

To inure one is to cause one to submit unwillingly, to harden one to patient endurance of the objectionable

they were inured to hardship and unafraid of the wilderness — American Guide Series: Tennessee

an experienced judge is more or less inured to criticism — W.F.Brown b.1903

season suggests a gradual bettering of condition or increase in ability brought about by time or experience, a maturing (of a thing) to a sound, reliable condition, or a maturing (of a person or a talent) to a greater efficiency or perfection in a particular activity or calling

old wood, seasoned by the sea wind for many decades — American Guide Series: New York City

a soldier, seasoned by many campaigns

the chapters which follow have all been tried out and seasoned with discussion — H.A.Overstreet

To acclimatize or to acclimate is to adapt or to accustom to new and hitherto alien conditions, acclimatize more frequently suggesting a human agency

to help acclimatize the new arrivals to conditions on the continent — Hanama Tasaki

sheep … acclimatized to the hills — F.D.Smith & Barbara Wilcox

they were acclimatized now to the cool atmosphere of professional life — Mary Lavin

I became so well acclimated to German customs — David Fairchild

acclimating the disabled veteran to the job and adjusting the job to the veteran — Current Biography

II. ˈ(h)a(r)dən noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English herdyng, herden, harden, irregular from herdes, hardes hurds — more at hurds

dialect Britain : a fabric made of the coarser parts of flax or hemp

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.