not soft; solid and firm to the touch; unyielding to pressure and impenetrable or almost impenetrable.
firmly formed; tight: a hard knot.
difficult to do or accomplish; fatiguing; troublesome: a hard task.
difficult or troublesome with respect to an action, situation, person, etc.: hard to please;a hard time.
difficult to deal with, manage, control, overcome, or understand: a hard problem.
involving a great deal of effort, energy, or persistence: hard labor;hard study.
performing or carrying on work with great effort, energy, or persistence: a hard worker.
vigorous or violent in force; severe:a hard rain;a hard fall.
bad; unendurable; unbearable: hard luck.
oppressive; harsh; rough: hard treatment.
austere; severe: a hard winter;the hard times of the Great Depression.
harsh or severe in dealing with others: a hard master.
difficult to explain away; undeniable: hard facts.
that can be verified; factual, as distinguished from speculation or hearsay: hard information.
harsh or unfriendly; resentful; severe; bitter: hard feelings;hard words.
of stern judgment or close examination; searching: a hard look.
lacking delicacy or softness; not blurred or diffused; clear and distinct; sharp; harsh: a hard line;a hard, bright light;hard features;a hard face.
(of a photograph) contrasty.
severe or rigorous in terms: a hard bargain.
sternly realistic; dispassionate; unsentimental: a hard, practical man;a hard view of life.
incorrigible; disreputable; tough: a hard character.
Scot. and North England. stingy; mean: hard with money.
in coins or paper money as distinguished from checks, securities, promissory notes, or other negotiable instruments).
(of paper money or a monetary system) supported by sufficient gold reserves and easily convertible into the currency of a foreign nation.
(of money) scarce or available at high interest rates: a hard loan.
denoting assets with intrinsic value, as gold, silver, or diamonds.
(of alcoholic beverages)
containing more than 22.5 percent alcohol by volume, as whiskey and brandy as opposed to beer and wine.
strong because of fermentation; intoxicating: hard cider.
(of wine) tasting excessively of tannin.
(of an illicit narcotic or drug) known to be physically addictive, as opium, morphine, or cocaine.
(of water) containing mineral salts that interfere with the action of soap.
(of bread and baked goods)
having a firm, crisp crust or texture: hard rolls.
stale or tough.
(of a fabric) having relatively little nap; smooth: Silk is a harder fabric than wool or cotton.
(of the landing of a rocket or space vehicle) executed without decelerating: a hard landing on the moon.: Compare soft (def. 28).
(of a missile base) equipped to launch missiles from underground silos.
(of a missile) capable of being launched from an underground silo.
Military. being underground and strongly protected from nuclear bombardment.
Agriculture. noting wheats with high gluten content, milled for a bread flour as contrasted with pastry flour.
(of c and g) pronounced as (k) in come and (g) in go, rather than as in cent, cello, suspicion, gem, or beige.
(of consonants in Slavic languages) not palatalized.: Compare soft (def. 26).
(in the making of rope) noting a lay having a considerable angle to the axis of the rope; short.
Physics. (of a beam of particles or photons) having relatively high energy: hard x-rays.: Compare soft (def. 29).
(of the penis) erect.
with great exertion; with vigor or violence; strenuously: to work hard;to try hard;to fight back hard.
earnestly, intently, or critically: to look hard at a thing.
harshly or severely.
so as to be solid, tight, or firm: frozen hard.
with strong force or impact: She tripped and came down hard on her back.
in a deeply affected manner; with genuine sorrow or remorse: She took it very hard when they told her of his death.
closely; immediately: Failure and defeat seemed hard at hand. The decision to ban students from the concerts followed hard on the heels of the riot.
to an unreasonable or extreme degree; excessively; immoderately: He's hitting the bottle pretty hard.
Nautical. closely, fully, or to the extreme limit: hard aport;hard alee.
Nautical. a firm or paved beach or slope convenient for hauling vessels out of the water.
a firm or solid beach or foreshore.
a firm landing, jetty, or road across or adjoining the foreshore.
Idioms about hard
be hard on, to deal harshly with; be stern: You are being too hard on him.
hard by, in close proximity to; near: The house is hard by the river.
hard of hearing. See entry at hard of hearing.
hard put, in great perplexity or difficulty; at a loss: We were hard put to finish the examination in one hour.
hard up, Informal.
urgently in need of money.
feeling a lack or need: The country is hard up for technicians and doctors.
|1||inflexible, rigid, compressed, compact, firm, resisting, adamantine, flinty|
|3||toilsome, onerous, wearisome, exhausting|
|5||complex, complicated, perplexing, puzzling, intricate, knotty, tough|
|6||arduous, difficult, laborious|
|10||severe, rigorous, grinding, cruel, merciless, unsparing|
|12||stern, austere, strict, exacting, relentless, obdurate, adamant; unyielding, unpitying|
- half-hard, adjective
- o·ver·hard, adjective
- o·ver·hard·ness, noun
- sem·i·hard, adjective
- sem·i·hard·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use hard in a sentence
It was hard to process and realize it was real and it happened.Matthew Hoppe was a little-known American soccer player — until he reached the Bundesliga | Steven Goff | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
Just because something is hard to find, doesn’t mean it’s valuable, Keller says.Replacing pieces of flatware or china can be a challenge. Here’s how to track them down. | Laura Daily | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
There will be hard days and recurring struggles, and you should give yourself space for them, she said.Politics and conspiracy theories are fracturing relationships. Here’s how to grieve those broken bonds. | Jeff Schrum | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
An older cousin had once volunteered with Teen Line, and to Raderman that seemed like a good way to put her hard-won knowledge to use.
This makes it hard to know if you should buy a helmet with rotational-energy tech.
Just the hard-on before you shoot unarmed members of the public.'Babylon' Review: The Dumb Lives of Trigger-Happy Cops | Melissa Leon | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
But so-called jungle primaries are notoriously hard to predict or poll.The Golden State Preps for the ‘Red Wedding’ of Senate Races | David Freedlander | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
My body used for his hard pleasure; a stone god gripping me in his hands.‘A Gronking to Remember’ Speed Read: 8 Naughtiest Bits | Emily Shire | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
All of my stories are about people trying hard not to grow up.Here’s the Lost Judd Apatow ‘Simpsons’ Episode, Penned by Judd Apatow | Asawin Suebsaeng | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
We also have a growing body of biological research showing that fathers, like mothers, are hard-wired to care for children.
He thought they were now in touch with our troops at "X" but that they had been through some hard fighting to get there.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
However this be, it is hard to say that these fibs have that clear intention to deceive which constitutes a complete lie.Children's Ways | James Sully
And it would be hard indeed, if so remote a prince's notions of virtue and vice were to be offered as a standard for all mankind.Gulliver's Travels | Jonathan Swift
Even if poverty were gone, the flail could still beat hard enough upon the grain and chaff of humanity.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
"I congratulate you on your engagement," he said at last, looking up with a face that seemed to Bernard hard and unnatural.Confidence | Henry James
British Dictionary definitions for hard
firm or rigid; not easily dented, crushed, or pierced
toughened by or as if by physical labour; not soft or smooth: hard hands
difficult to do or accomplish; arduous: a hard task
difficult to understand or perceive: a hard question
showing or requiring considerable physical or mental energy, effort, or application: hard work; a hard drinker
stern, cold, or intractable: a hard judge
exacting; demanding: a hard master
harsh; cruel: a hard fate
inflicting pain, sorrow, distress, or hardship: hard times
tough or adamant: a hard man
forceful or violent: a hard knock
cool or uncompromising: we took a long hard look at our profit factor
indisputable; real: hard facts
chem (of water) impairing the formation of a lather by soap: See hardness (def. 3)
practical, shrewd, or calculating: he is a hard man in business
too harsh to be pleasant: hard light
(of cash, money, etc) in coin and paper rather than cheques
(of currency) in strong demand, esp as a result of a good balance of payments situation
(of credit) difficult to obtain; tight
(of alcoholic drink) being a spirit rather than a wine, beer, etc: the hard stuff
(of a drug such as heroin, morphine, or cocaine) highly addictive: Compare soft (def. 20)
physics (of radiation, such as gamma rays and X-rays) having high energy and the ability to penetrate solids
physics (of a vacuum) almost complete
mainly US (of goods) durable
(of news coverage) concentrating on serious stories
an older word for fortis
(not in modern technical usage) denoting the consonants c and g in English when they are pronounced as velar stops (k, g)
(of consonants in the Slavonic languages) not palatalized
being heavily fortified and protected
(of nuclear missiles) located underground in massively reinforced silos
politically extreme: the hard left
British and NZ informal incorrigible or disreputable (esp in the phrase a hard case)
(of bread, etc) stale and old
a hard nut to crack
a person not easily persuaded or won over
a thing not easily understood
hard by near; close by
hard doer NZ a tough worker at anything
hard done by unfairly or badly treated
hard up informal
in need of money; poor
(foll by for) in great need (of): hard up for suggestions
put the hard word on Australian and NZ informal to ask or demand something from
with great energy, force, or vigour: the team always played hard
as far as possible; all the way: hard left
with application; earnestly or intently: she thought hard about the formula
with great intensity, force, or violence: his son's death hit him hard
(foll by on, upon, by, or after) close; near: hard on his heels
(foll by at) assiduously; devotedly
with effort or difficulty: their victory was hard won
(in combination): hard-earned
slowly and reluctantly: prejudice dies hard
go hard with to cause pain or difficulty to (someone): it will go hard with you if you don't tell the truth
hard at it working hard
hard put or hard put to it scarcely having the capacity (to do something): he's hard put to get to work by 9:30
any colorant that produces a harsh coarse appearance
British a roadway across a foreshore
slang hard labour
slang an erection of the penis (esp in the phrase get or have a hard on)
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with hard
In addition to the idioms beginning with hard
- hard act to follow
- hard and fast
- hard as nails
- hard bargain
- hard cash
- harden one's heart
- hard feelings
- hard hat
- hard hit, be
- hard line
- hard liquor
- hard luck
- hardly ever
- hard nut to crack
- hard of hearing
- hard on
- hard on someone's heels
- hard pressed
- hard put, be
- hard row to hoe
- hard sell
- hard time
- hard up
- hard way, the
- between a rock and a hard place
- cold (hard) cash
- come down (hard) on
- die hard
- drive a (hard) bargain
- go hard with
- no hard feelings
- play hardball
- play hard to get
- school of hard knocks
- tough (hard) row to hoe
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.