Meaning of HARDNESS in English



( -es )

Etymology: Middle English hardnesse, from Old English heardnes, from heard hard + -nes -ness

1. : the quality or state of being hard: as


(1) : a property of solids, plastics, and very viscous liquids that is indicated by their solidity and firmness

(2) : resistance of metal to indentation by an indenter of fixed shape and size under a static load or to scratching (as by file or diamond cutting point)

(3) : ability of a metal to cause rebound of a small standard object dropped from a fixed height

(4) : the cohesion of the particles on the surface of a mineral as determined by its capacity to scratch another or be itself scratched — compare mohs' scale

b. : a quality exhibited by water containing various dissolved salts (as of calcium and magnesium) that prevent soap from lathering by giving rise to an insoluble curdy precipitate and that cause incrustations in boilers or kettles — see permanent hardness , temporary hardness ; compare softness

c. : a quality of radiation (as of X rays) that determines its penetrating power

d. : excessive contrast in a photograpic negative or print


(1) : harshness , severity , callousness

a hardness toward shop assistants by customers — Lucien Price

free from all resentment, hardness , and scorn — Oscar Wilde

(2) : rigor , inclemency , difficulty

the poverty of the country, the hardness of life — Felix Gilbert

happier than the townsman … in spite of the hardness of his lot — G.E.Fussell

(3) : freedom from sentimentality, weakness, or slackness

it was Yeat's dryness and hardness that excited us — Louis MacNeice

that doctrine of hardness which distinguishes the work of the best imagist poets — Jacob Isaacs

2. : something hard to do or bear : hardship

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