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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 works as an independent contractor, specializing in renovation and construction.
Harden said the facade of the store and the large windows were installed in the 1900s; he believes the building itself was fully renovated at that time and it was never done again.
House of Tides achieved 60th place on the Harden's 100 ranking of the best places to eat in the country.
On top of that three other restaurants in the area were included in the Harden's Top Scorers list: The Patricia in Jesmond, Colmans in South Shields and Tynemouth's Riley's Fish Shack.
The guide's editor and cofounder Peter Harden said: "The same week that saw TripAdvisor crown a shed serving Iceland ready meals as London's top restaurant, saw our guide name the capital's The Araki as the UK's best.
"Both systems rely on user feedback, but it is the careful collation of the Harden's survey that creates authoritative rankings, rather than trash listings based on seemingly unfiltered garbage data." Harden's Best UK Restaurants 2018 costs PS15.99 and is available at outlets including Waterstone's, Amazon and www.hardens.com.
Going forward, Harden says, we could see various scenarios, including an independent ASB operating as before, with the PCAOB only adopting certain incremental rules for public entity auditors, creating the equivalent of a 'Yellow Book" (i.e.
"Of these options, the first would appear most logical given the need for the ASB to continue to set standards for auditors of nonpublic entities," Harden says, adding that there is precedence for this type of arrangement between the General Accounting Office and AICPA.
Stuart Harden, CPA, CFE is a director in Hemming Morse lncs litigation services group.
Harden wasn't even in the discussion a month ago when the Rockets were the NBA's most disappointing team.
Houston's defense has been better than it was at the start of the season, but Harden's seemingly impossible numbers have been the driving force in the Rockets' victories.
Over the last 12 games, Harden is averaging an incredible 40.1 points, 9.0 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game.
As the season approaches the midway point, Harden leads the league with 33.6 points per game on an average of 22.1 attempts.