hardness: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (härd'nis), [key]
— n.
  1. the state or quality of being hard: the hardness of ice.
  2. a relative degree or extent of this quality: wood of a desirable hardness.
  3. that quality in water that is imparted by the presence of dissolved salts, esp. calcium sulfate or bicarbonate.
  4. unfeelingness or jadedness; callousness.
  5. harshness or austerity, as of a difficult existence.
  6. ill will; bad feelings: There's a lot of hardness between those two boys.
  7. the comparative ability of a substance to scratch or be scratched by another. Cf. Mohs scale.
  8. the measured resistance of a metal to indention, abrasion, deformation, or machining.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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