Definition of harshen in US English:



  • 1with object Make unpleasantly rough or jarring to the senses.

    ‘“Right,” I said, harshening my tone’
  • 2Make or become more cruel or severe.

    with object ‘legislation that will harshen sentences for petty crimes’
    no object ‘his words harshened, admonishing those who live a double life’
    1. 2.1no object (of a climate or conditions) become more difficult to survive in.
      ‘rivers run dry, climate harshens and pollution spreads’
    2. 2.2with object Have an undesirably strong effect on.
      ‘the atmosphere harshens color’