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harden - definition and synonyms


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verb harden pronunciation in British English /ˈhɑː(r)d(ə)n/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlehardening
past tensehardened
past participlehardened
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to become hard or firm, or to make something hard or firm
    This additive hardens the cement in an hour.
    The bread will harden if you don’t cover it.
    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [transitive] mainly literary to make someone become less affected or upset by unpleasant things so that they show less kindness or sympathy to other people
    harden someone to something: Years of reporting on wars hardened them to human suffering.
    1. a.
      [intransitive] if your expression or voice hardens, you begin to look or sound unfriendly
      His eyes hardened when he saw her.
  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] if you harden your attitude, or if it hardens, you refuse to change it
    Forsyth appeared to have hardened his line on (=his attitude towards) Europe.

derived word


noun [singular/uncountable]
She has hardening of the arteries.
a hardening of opinion against the treaty


… a feeling of pleasure you get from spending time doing what you want and not worrying about what other people are doing or saying

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