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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.

Related Words for hard as nails

crass, unresponsive, unkind, heartless, uncaring, firm, heavy, vigorous, secure, tough, capable, solid, big, forceful, able, steady, tenacious, athletic, substantial, stable

Examples from the Web for hard as nails

Historical Examples of hard as nails

  • 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.