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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

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

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

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

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

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.
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.
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.
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.