a period of difficulties or hardship.
Slang. time actually served in a prison or other penal institution: He had merely been fined before, but now was sentenced to 90 days' hard time in the county jail.
give a hard time, Informal. to bother, annoy, or harass: He gave me a hard time about the money I owe him.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use hard time in a sentence
Cardwell apparently has fallen on hard times and so accepted the offer.Honey Boo Boo, Snake Oil, and Ebola: The Weird World of Young Living Essential Oils | Kent Sepkowitz | December 5, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The family then fell on hard times, and Hardy moved to live with relatives in the Chicago area.Indiana Serial Killer’s Confession Was Just the Start | Michael Daly | October 21, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
You know all the hard times that John had at the beginning, even when he was with Miles.
The final reason romantic comedies have fallen on hard times is Branding.
Detroit has landed on hard times, but there is still vibrant life left.
We have had hard times, and hard marching through this rough country, but thanks be to God, I have escaped with a whole skin.The World Before Them | Susanna Moodie
The hard times of 1893-94 gave a new opportunity to test the value of such a club.The Leaven in a Great City | Lillian William Betts
Yet the complaint of "hard times" is louder and louder: everywhere are men harassed by care, and haunted by the fear of want.Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8 | Various
Th' top iv good times is hard times and th' bottom iv hard times is good times.Mr. Dooley Says | Finley Dunne
The President is made responsible for everything, especially for hard times.Ethics in Service | William Howard Taft
Other Idioms and Phrases with hard time
Also, hard times. A period of difficulty or hardship, especially financial hardship. For example, Since Mom died, Christmas has been a hard time for Dad, or It's been hard times for both of them since they split up. It is also put as have a hard time, as in I'm having a hard time finishing this book. Charles Dickens used Hard Times as the title of a novel about poverty (1854). A more recent version is have a time of it, which despite its ambiguity (not specifying either “good” or “bad”) nearly always means “experiencing difficulty”; for example, We had quite a time of it in that hurricane. [Late 1300s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.