• synonyms

tough love

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  1. a mixture of toughness and warmth used in a relationship, especially with an adolescent.

Origin of tough love

First recorded in 1977; after Toughlove, a network of support groups
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for tough love

tough love

  1. the practice of taking a stern attitude towards a relative or friend suffering from an addiction, etc, to help the addict overcome the problem
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012