Definition of coarsen in US English:



  • 1Make or become rough.

    with object ‘her hands were coarsened by outside work’
    no object ‘his facial features appeared to coarsen with age’
    • ‘The grain size of the sediment within the allomember coarsens upward.’
    • ‘Between the multistorey channel sandbodies, clear changes in depositional style occur with rapid upwards coarsening in grain size and sedimentary structures.’
    • ‘But now he was fat and coarsened with age, his teeth betel-stained.’
    • ‘It may be the author's point that men coarsen with age, but there seems nothing to bind this foursome together except the demands of the dramatic situation.’
    • ‘And in most continuous stills the hot wine is mixed with steam to help extract the alcohol, thus further coarsening the resulting spirit.’
    • ‘The voice, however, has deepened and coarsened, gritting around in a low-alto register and lacking stamina for the longer phrase.’
    • ‘Where once he was a golden child, handsome and normal-looking, now his features have coarsened, his hair is growing grey.’
    • ‘But the voices coarsen and the music is not Bach.’
    • ‘If you could forego drinking it for a while, you would see two distinct processes taking place: The bubbles enlarge - a process called coarsening - and liquid drains out.’
    • ‘The middle part comprises a 45-m-thick coarsening upward sequence of massive to bedded sandstone.’
    • ‘Sometimes his tone coarsens, and his diction is below par.’
    • ‘Now a white-haired man with weathered skin and palms coarsened by years of handling paint and chemicals, he seems more willing to discuss the influences on his life and work.’
    • ‘Her voice was rich, and coarsened by cigarettes, I thought.’
    • ‘Similarly, if the reaction is slowed down by addition of further alloying elements, e.g. Ni and Mn, the precipitate dispersion coarsens.’
    • ‘The modal grain size of the sediments in these reactivation events usually coarsens upwards because of the progressive lateral shift of the stream axis toward a given point in the crevasse splay.’
    • ‘On attaining a critical dispersion parameter, the strength of the steel reaches a maximum, and as the carbide dispersion slowly coarsens, the strength drops.’
    • ‘His former good looks have coarsened, and he knows it.’
    roughen, thicken, toughen, harden
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    1. 1.1 Make or become crude, vulgar, or unpleasant.
      with object ‘her experience has not coarsened her or made her cynical’
      no object ‘the voice coarsened’
      • ‘This will coarsen our sensibilities as a culture.’
      • ‘Too many people survive, or imagine that they do, by coarsening themselves and by protectively dulling their sensitivity to the point of acceptance.’
      • ‘To comment on distant matters that are not close to the heart leads us into propaganda which coarsens our collective psyche.’
      • ‘I certainly believe that the blogosphere should advance and ennoble the public debate - not coarsen it.’
      • ‘But they are part of an increasing trend of anti-social behaviour which is coarsening society.’
      • ‘Both of his announcements show clearly how capital punishment is coarsening American institutions.’
      • ‘They say it demeans the sport and coarsens those who play it.’
      • ‘He is dismayed by the way this has coarsened modern life.’
      • ‘But it has cheapened and coarsened the discourse in this country.’
      • ‘Comparing politicians to evil dictators is offensive, shrill, and coarsens the political discourse.’
      • ‘But the simple fact is that the language of praise and enthusiasm has been so cheapened and coarsened by years of overuse at the hands of publicists that the words no longer mean anything.’
      • ‘Behind bland phrases like ‘compassion fatigue’ is something worse, a steadily coarsening, increasingly stubborn indifference.’
      desensitize, harshen, dehumanize
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