die-hard

or die·hard

[dahy-hahrd]

noun

a person who vigorously maintains or defends a seemingly hopeless position, outdated attitude, lost cause, or the like.

adjective

resisting vigorously and stubbornly to the last; stubborn.

Nearby words

  1. die to,
  2. die with one's boots on,
  3. die-cast,
  4. die-casting,
  5. die-cutting,
  6. die-off,
  7. dieb. alt.,
  8. dieb. secund.,
  9. dieb. tert.,
  10. dieback

Origin of die-hard

First recorded in 1835–45; noun, adj. use of verb phrase die hard

Related formsdie-hard·ism, noun

die

1
[dahy]

verb (used without object), died, dy·ing.

to cease to live; undergo the complete and permanent cessation of all vital functions; become dead.
(of something inanimate) to cease to exist: The laughter died on his lips.
to lose force, strength, or active qualities: Superstitions die slowly.
to cease to function; stop: The motor died.
to be no longer subject; become indifferent: to die to worldly matters.
to pass gradually; fade or subside gradually (usually followed by away, out, or down): The storm slowly died down.
Theology. to lose spiritual life.
to faint or languish.
to suffer as if fatally: I'm dying of boredom!
to pine with desire, love, longing, etc.: I'm dying to see my home again.
to desire or want keenly or greatly: I'm dying for a cup of coffee.

Verb Phrases

die away, (of a sound) to become weaker or fainter and then cease: The hoofbeats gradually died away.
die down, to become calm or quiet; subside.
die off, to die one after another until the number is greatly reduced: Her friends are dying off.
die out,
  1. to cease to exist; become extinct: Both lines of the family died out before the turn of the century.
  2. to die away; fade; subside: The roar of the engines died out as the rocket vanished into the clouds.

Origin of die

1
1150–1200; Middle English dien, deien < Old Norse deyja. Cf. dead, death

Can be confuseddie dye

Synonym study

1. Die, pass away ( pass on; pass ), perish mean to relinquish life. To die is to become dead from any cause and in any circumstances. It is the simplest, plainest, and most direct word for this idea, and is used figuratively of anything that has once displayed activity: An echo, flame, storm, rumor dies. Pass away (or pass on or pass ) is a commonly used euphemism implying a continuation of life after death: Grandfather passed away ( passed on or passed ). Perish, a more literary term, implies death under harsh circumstances such as hunger, cold, neglect, etc.; figuratively, perish connotes utter extinction: Hardship caused many pioneers to perish. Ancient Egyptian civilization has perished.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for die hard

die-hard

noun

a person who resists change or who holds onto an untenable position or outdated attitude
(modifier) obstinately resistant to change
Derived Formsdie-hardism, noun

die

1

verb dies, dying or died (mainly intr)

(of an organism or its cells, organs, etc) to cease all biological activity permanentlyshe died of pneumonia
(of something inanimate) to cease to exist; come to an endthe memory of her will never die
(often foll by away, down, or out) to lose strength, power, or energy, esp by degrees
(often foll by away or down) to become calm or quiet; subsidethe noise slowly died down
to stop functioningthe engine died
to languish or pine, as with love, longing, etc
(usually foll by of) informal to be nearly overcome (with laughter, boredom, etc)
theol to lack spiritual life within the soul, thus separating it from God and leading to eternal punishment
(tr) to undergo or suffer (a death of a specified kind) (esp in phrases such as die a saintly death)
(foll by to) to become indifferent or apathetic (to)to die to the world
never say die informal never give up
die hard to cease to exist after resistance or a struggleold habits die hard
die in harness to die while still working or active, prior to retirement
be dying (foll by for or an infinitive) to be eager or desperate (for something or to do something)I'm dying to see the new house
to die for informal highly desirablea salary to die for

Word Origin for die

Old English dīegan, probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse deyja, Old High German touwen

usage

It was formerly considered incorrect to use the preposition from after die, but of and from are now both acceptable: he died of/from his injuries

die

2

noun

  1. a shaped block of metal or other hard material used to cut or form metal in a drop forge, press, or similar device
  2. a tool of metal, silicon carbide, or other hard material with a conical hole through which wires, rods, or tubes are drawn to reduce their diameter
an internally-threaded tool for cutting external threadsCompare tap 2 (def. 6)
a casting mould giving accurate dimensions and a good surface to the object castSee also die-cast
architect the dado of a pedestal, usually cubic
another name for dice (def. 2)
as straight as a die perfectly honest
the die is cast the decision that commits a person irrevocably to an action has been taken

Word Origin for die

C13 dee, from Old French de, perhaps from Vulgar Latin datum (unattested) a piece in games, noun use of past participle of Latin dare to play

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

Word Origin and History for die hard
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for die hard

die

[dī]

v.

To cease living; become dead; expire.
To cease existing, especially by degrees; fade.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with die hard

die hard

Take a long time to cease to exist or be dropped from consideration. For example, Old prejudices die hard, or The more radical parts of this proposal will die hard. This idiom alludes to struggling against physical death. [Late 1700s]

die

In addition to the idioms beginning with die

  • die away
  • die down
  • die for
  • die hard
  • die in harness
  • die is cast, the
  • die laughing
  • die off
  • die out
  • die to
  • die with one's boots on

also see:

  • curl up (and die)
  • do or die
  • it's to die
  • never say die
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.