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tough nut

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for tough nut
Historical Examples
  • He tries this on very much with me, but I flatter myself he has got a tough nut to crack.

    Dracula Bram Stoker
  • It is just as if the boys were paired off, a “goody-goody” and a “tough nut” together.

  • I expect Verena, for all she is so soft and fair, is a tough nut to crack; but you can bring Briar and Patty.

    Girls of the Forest L. T. Meade
  • Bill he knew already fairly well as a tough nut to crack, game to the core, and staunch to his friends.

    Crooked Trails and Straight William MacLeod Raine
  • He was, in fact, a tough nut, and a fellow who took any kind of risks for the sake of putting through a job.

  • Drank rum by the hogshead, pounded his wife till she left him, and was a tough nut gin'rally.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • After the first rush, it was obvious to the Harn that the cabin was going to be a tough nut to crack.

    Cat and Mouse Ralph Williams
  • Even the larger digitals would find this a tough nut to crack, but our baby is a whiz at curves, see?

    The Romantic Analogue W.W. Skupeldyckle
  • You're a tough nut to talk about sleep when you've killed the best man in Nevada County.

    Forty-one Thieves Angelo Hall
  • It seemed a tough nut to crack, this tripartite household arrangement.

    A Fascinating Traitor Richard Henry Savage

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