Definition of work-harden in English:

work-harden

verb

[WITH OBJECT]Metallurgy
  • Toughen (a metal) by cold-working.

    • ‘The rest of the strength is generated by work-hardening.’
    • ‘Steel actually work-hardens over time, so in theory, steel shafts get slightly stiffer the more they're used.’
    • ‘Repeated expansion and sizing work-hardens the case and overtime makes it less resilient.’
    • ‘Machining operations are normally limited to turning and milling because manganese steel work-hardens under load.’
    • ‘As it is fired and sized a brass case tends to work-harden so it should only be used once or twice for base measurements.’

Pronunciation:

work-harden

/wərkˈhärdn/