Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The quality or condition of being hard.
  • n. The relative resistance of a mineral to scratching, as measured by the Mohs scale.
  • n. The relative resistance of a metal or other material to denting, scratching, or bending.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quality of being hard.
  • n. An instance of this quality; hardship.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being hard, literally or figuratively.
  • n. The cohesion of the particles on the surface of a body, determined by its capacity to scratch another, or be itself scratched; -- measured among minerals on a scale of which diamond and talc form the extremes.
  • n. The peculiar quality exhibited by water which has mineral salts dissolved in it. Such water forms an insoluble compound with soap, and is hence unfit for washing purposes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state or quality of being hard, in any of the senses of that word; solidity; density; difficulty of comprehension, accomplishment, control, or endurance; obduracy; harshness; severity; inclemency; adversity; roughness; uncomeliness; want of sensibility.
  • n. Specifically That quality in fountain-water which is imparted by the presence in excess of earthy salts, especially calcium sulphate.
  • n. In medicine, that quality of the pulse which is due to tension of the artery, which in this condition does not readily yield to the pressure of the finger.
  • n. In art and music, harshness or coldness of execution; unsympathetic treatment, as of a tone or the details of a picture; want of feeling in performance.
  • n. In mineralogy, the comparative capacity of a substance to scratch another or be scratched by another; the quality of bodies which enables them to resist abrasion of their surfaces.
  • n. Water, as found in nature, containing salts of lime or magnesia or both of these in considerable quantity, is said to be hard; it curdles or precipitates soap bv forming insoluble lime or magnesia salts of the fatty acids. Any lime or magnesia present in the condition of carbonate is held in solution by carbonic acid, and if this latter is driven off as carbon-dioxid gas by boiling the water, the earthy carbonates are precipitated, so that the water is to this extent softened. The part of the original hardness which is thus removable by boiling is called temporary hardness. The part due to calcium or magnesium in the condition of chlorid or sulphate is not thus removable, and is called permanent hardness. The sum of the temporary and permanent hardness constitutes the total hardness. Hardness is frequently stated in degrees, each degree representing hardness equivalent to that caused by 1 grain of calcium carbonate in 1 imperial gallon of water; or, now more commonly, 1 part of calcium carbonate in 1,000,000 parts of water.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the property of being rigid and resistant to pressure; not easily scratched; measured on Mohs scale
  • n. devoid of passion or feeling; hardheartedness
  • n. a quality of water that contains dissolved mineral salts that prevent soap from lathering
  • n. the quality of being difficult to do
  • n. excessive sternness

Etymologies

From hard + -ness (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Then you take chopped up betel nut (or areca nut, which is similar to nutmeg in hardness and texture) and fold the leaf over the the ingredients.

    Trying Food in India « Colleen Anderson

  • In the first place, "I do agnize a natural and prompt alacrity I find in hardness," though Heaven forbid but that I should perceive beauty wherever it exists (seeing that a "thing of beauty is a joy for ever").

    Further Records, 1848-1883: A Series of Letters

  • Thus wilful hardness is justly punished with judicial hardness.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume VI (Acts to Revelation)

  • This supposed "hardness" -- I detest these vague phrases, but one knows what is meant -- of the Rationalist temper is one of the strangest myths the clergy have invented.

    The War and the Churches

  • On the contrary, as all resistance whatsoever of the dictates of conscience, even in the way of natural efficiency, brings a kind of hardness and stupefaction upon it; so the resistance of these peculiar suggestions of the Spirit will cause in it also a judicial hardness, which is yet worse than the other.

    Sermons Preached Upon Several Occasions. Vol. II.

  • Yet the hardness was there, and it was what enabled him to run his ketch single-handed and to wring a livelihood out of the fighting Solomons.

    Chapter 8

  • A Scumble is generally a tint made of some colour mixed with white; its usual effect is to render the part of the picture where it is employed, somewhat cooler, grayer, and less defined than before; hence it is of great service in connecting any tendency to muddiness or dirtiness of colouring; and also to what is called hardness, or over-distinctness of detail.

    Scumbling

  • And that durare is applied to the idea of hardness, as well as that of existence, we see in Horace, Epod.xvi. ferro duravit secula.

    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

  • Choose a wheel hardness, which is rated using the durometer scale.

    How To Buy & Sell just about Everything

  • Carnelian, also known as red chalcedony, sard, or red agate, is a silica mineral and it is hard, rating a 7 on the Mohs Scale of mineral hardness, which is the same hardness as flint.

    Interactive Dig Hierakonpolis - Hierakonpolis 2009 - Field Note 3

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