[ hahrd-boild ]
/ ˈhɑrdˈbɔɪld /


Cookery. (of an egg) boiled in the shell long enough for the yolk and white to solidify.
Informal. tough; unsentimental: a hard-boiled vice-squad detective.
marked by a direct, clear-headed approach; realistic: a hard-boiled appraisal of the foreign situation.
(of detective fiction) written in a laconic, dispassionate, often ironic style for a realistic, unsentimental effect.

Origin of hard-boiled

1715–25; 1895–80 for def 2; hard + boiled

Related forms

hard-boiled·ness, noun

Definition for hard-boiled (2 of 2)


[ hahrd-boil ]
/ ˈhɑrdˈbɔɪl /

verb (used with object)

to boil (an egg) until the yolk and white have become firm or solid.

Origin of hard-boil

First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hard-boiled

British Dictionary definitions for hard-boiled



(of an egg) boiled until the yolk and white are solid
  1. tough, realistic
  2. cynical
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