Abstract The grain boundary diffusion process using an Nd70Cu30 eutectic alloy has been applied to hot-deformed anisotropic Nd–Fe–B magnets, resulting in a substantial enhancement of coercivity, from 1.5 T to 2.3 T, at the expense of remanence. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the areal fraction of an Nd-rich intergranular phase increased from 10% to 37%. The intergranular phase of the hot-deformed magnet initially contained ∼55 at.% ferromagnetic element, while it diminished to an undetectable level after the process. Microscale eutectic solidification of Nd/NdCu as well as a fine lamellae structure of Nd70(Co,Cu)30/Nd were observed in the intergranular phase. Micromagnetic simulations indicated that the reduction of the magnetization in the intergranular phases leads to the enhancement of coercivity in agreement with the experimental observation.