rough and hard-bitten: hard-case juvenile delinquents.

Origin of hard-case

First recorded in 1915–20

hard case


a rough, hard-bitten person.

Origin of hard case

An Americanism dating back to 1830–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hard-case

Historical Examples of hard-case

  • Suddenly, the vendor dropped his hard-case bangbanger facade.


    Cory Doctorow

  • Donald smiled to himself at the thought of the hard-case Bluenose mate having a penchant for chocolate “fudge.”

    The Viking Blood

    Frederick William Wallace