DEFINITION of 'Hardening'
1. A term used to describe a price of commodity or futures contracts that is gradually stabilizing.
2. A futures market that is slowly advancing in prices.
BREAKING DOWN 'Hardening'
1. After a rise or fall in prices, a slow return to historically accepted levels is considered a hardening.
2. The prices of future contracts are considered to be hardening if they are increasing slowly, unlike a bulge market, in which the prices rise sharply.