• synonyms

hard as nails

Unyielding, callous, unsympathetic, as in Don't ask her for a contribution—she's hard as nails. This expression has replaced the 14th-century simile hard as flint stone and presumably alludes to the rigidity of nails.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Examples from the Web for hard as nails

Historical Examples

  • How she come to be related to that hard-as-nails Joe Stagg is a puzzler.

    Carolyn of the Corners

    Ruth Belmore Endicott

  • "Hard-as-nails" the girls sometimes called her, for she coddled nobody and expected the utmost from each one's capacity.