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1. The degree of firmness of a solid, as determined by its resistance to deformation, scratching, or abrasion.
See also: hardness scale, number.
2. The relative penetrating power of a beam of x-rays, used both within the diagnostic range of energy and in radiation therapy; expressed in terms of half-value layer.


Etymology: AS, heard, hard
1 a quality of water produced by soluble salts of calcium and magnesium or other substances that form a precipitate with soap and thus interfere with its cleansing power.
2 the quality of firmness produced by cohesion of the particles composing a substance, as evidenced by its inflexibility or resistance to indentation, distortion, or scratching.


1. The degree of firmness of a solid, as determined by its resistance to deformation, scratching, or abrasion.
2. The relative penetrating power of a beam of x-rays.

hardness (of a substance),

n the ability of a material to resist an indenting type of load.
hardness (of radiographs),
n a term used to indicate in a general way the quality of x-radiation, with hardness being a function of the wavelength; the shorter the wavelength, the harder the x-radiation.
hardness, Mohs,
n a relative scratch resistance of minerals based on an arbitrary scale: 10, diamond; 9, corundum; 8, topaz; 7, quartz; 6, orthoclase; 5, apatite; 4, fluorite; 3, calcite; 2, gypsum; and 1, talc.
hardness tests,
See tests, hardness.

Patient discussion about hardness

Q. Why is it so hard???? Why is it so hard to quit drinking ? i try and i try and it seems like i can't find the strength to stop completely .. every time i am almost there .. but than i just snap!

A. HI....find out about alcoholics anonymous in your town,call their 800#...go to(INTHEROOMS.com)find HELP.......mrfoot56

Q. i cant stop getting a hard on erection stiffy embarrassing crease in trousers

A. Have you heard of priapism,a condition in which the penis is continually erect; usually painful and seldom with sexual arousal. If you suffer from this you should go see a doctor about it.

Q. anyone knows how to stop hard skin on the feet from becoming cracked??? during summer my feet got lots of hard skin and in the heel area the skin actually got cracked kinda deep. it hurts now and the cracks are starting to get infected I guess... do u guys know how to solve this?? I know there are some creams for that but I thought maybe now it's too late for that and I need something stronger?

A. There are good creams for moisterizing the skin of your feet on a daily basis, however now that you feel they might be infected you should see a dermatologist for some better treatment.

More discussions about hardness
References in periodicals archive ?
Lack of jobs for Christians as for all Palestinians makes providing food a hard matter.
Atasu works like an alchemist who turns gaseous substances back into hard matter with the concreteness of her images.
The king said that accepting the request by Prince Saudi Al-Faisal was one of the most difficult and hard matters but that the king highly appreciates Prince Saudi Al-Faisal's circumstance and feelings.
This in itself is an indication of just how hard matters can progress in Europe.