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harden (one's) heart

To stop or cause one to stop feeling kindness and compassion. I worry that all the trauma she's already been through at such a young age will harden her heart.
See also: harden, heart

harden (one's) heart against (someone or something)

1. To stop feeling kindness and compassion toward someone or something. Don't harden your heart against people who need our help. It's not their fault they're in that situation.
2. To cause one to stop feeling kindness and compassion toward someone or something. I worry that all the trauma she's already been through at such a young age will harden her heart against other people.
See also: harden, heart

harden (oneself) to (something)

To ready or prepare oneself, often emotionally, for a difficult or unpleasant experience. How can I, as a therapist, ever harden myself to the pain of others? We all need to harden ourselves to the seriousness of Aunt Louise's diagnosis.
See also: harden, to

harden off

To systematically expose a young plant to outdoor conditions so that it adapts well when moved outside permanently. A noun or pronoun can be used between "harden" and "off." That delicate plant won't survive outside unless you harden it off first.
See also: harden, off

harden up

1. To cause something to become physically harder or more solid. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "harden" and "up." The tub of ice cream was melting, so I stuck it in the freezer to harden it up.
2. To become physically harder or more solid. If the ice cream is melting, stick it in the freezer for a bit so it hardens up.
See also: harden, up

the same fire that melts the butter hardens the egg

The same experience will trigger different reactions in people (perhaps toughening some and causing others to weaken or fail). A: "How is Casey completely fine after the car accident, and I'm still terrified to drive?" B: "Well, the same fire that melts the butter hardens the egg, you know. It's OK to feel differently than she does."
See also: butter, egg, fire, harden, melt, same, that
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

harden oneself to something

Fig. to make oneself capable of bearing something unpleasant. You will have to learn to harden yourself to tragedies like this. They happen every day in a hospital. She had learned to harden herself to the kinds of poverty she had to work in.
See also: harden, to

harden something off

to accustom a young plant to normal weather so it can be moved from a protected environment to the out-of-doors. We put the plants by the open window to harden them off. We hardened off the plants.
See also: harden, off

harden something up

to make something hard or strong. Put the meat in the freezer awhile to harden it up before you try to slice it thin. Harden up the ice cream a little in the freezer.
See also: harden, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

harden one's heart

Feel no sympathy for, as in We can't afford to give them more; we'll just have to harden our hearts when they ask . [Late 1300s]
See also: harden, heart

steel one's heart against

Also, harden one's heart. Suppress one's feelings for, as in He finally steeled his heart against them and refused the loan, or You'll just have to harden your heart and tell them the truth. This metaphoric idiom transfers making something hard to rendering oneself insensible or unfeeling. Versions of it date from the late 1500s. Also see heart of stone.
See also: heart, steel
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

harden your heart

If you harden your heart, you force yourself not to feel love or sympathy for someone or something. Note: The heart is traditionally regarded as the centre of the emotions. The weeping continued. Lionel hardened his heart against the sound. The government's violent response to the mass action will only harden the people's hearts against the ruling party. Note: You can also say that your heart hardens. Anna saw the hurt in her father's eyes and her heart hardened.
See also: harden, heart
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

ˌharden your ˈheart against somebody/something

no longer be emotionally affected by somebody/something because you feel angry, bitter, etc., towards them/it: Doctors have to harden their hearts against the suffering they see every day.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Harden, the 2018 NBA MVP and reigning back-to-back Scoring Champion, is one of the top basketball players today for a reason and it's not due to any coincidence.
"We continue to press forward with our operational readiness plan and Harden will play a leading role in the progression of the ongoing preparations of this important stage in the programme," he added.
As good as he still was, Harden didn't seem completely comfortable.
Harden admitted that the Rockets may have been feeling the effects of two straight overtime games - a loss to Brooklyn on Wednesday and a win over the Lakers on Saturday.
House of Tides achieved 60th place on the Harden's 100 ranking of the best places to eat in the country.
Harden, who succeeds Linda Fisher who has elected to retire last month, will have responsibility for leading the company's public policy and government affairs strategies, as well as its sustainability, philanthropy, product stewardship and global regulatory activities.
Second that day was Cole Harden, who went on to be placed twice at Cheltenham, but saved his best for the big occasion when powering up the hill to deny Saphir Du Rheu.
"The Health and Safety Executive and police are investigating a serious accident at Harden Quarry at Biddlestone, Northumberland.
Harden sets No's story against the backdrop of Kim's ascendance to the stature of Great Leader and the Korean War, a war whose consequences linger today.
The rising star trainer, based at the historic Uplands stable in Lambourn, booked Cole Harden in for a breathing operation in the interim, and the surgery worked a treat Gavin Sheehan's mount made all the running to beat Saphir Du Rheu by three and a quarter lengths at the Festival, with several of today's rivals Zarkandar (third), Whisper (fifth), Un Temps Pour Tout (sixth) Jetson (ninth) and Blue Fashion (12th) behind.
Worried that the forklift would fall off the back of the truck as it went up a hill, Harden got off the forklift and tried to get Parker's attention.
To harden the actual adhesive, it must be heated to more than 150 degrees Celsius in a controlled way.
Harden, who was raised in South Georgia in a farming family, took over as deputy secretary last year, having served previously as chief of staff to the Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations.
Baltimore, MD, May 01, 2014 --(PR.com)-- Social worker, Gregory Harden, has launched a business that helps African-American parents find solutions to their most challenging teenage behaviors.
Lafarge Tarmac owns Harden Quarry at Biddlestone, near Rothbury, producers of "unique" red stone which was used on the grounds of Buckingham Palace and The Mall to its front.