or hard·line

[ hahrd-lahyn ]
/ ˈhɑrdˌlaɪn /


adhering rigidly to a dogma, theory, or plan; uncompromising or unyielding: hard-line union demands.

Nearby words

  1. hard-hearted,
  2. hard-hit,
  3. hard-hitting,
  4. hard-knock,
  5. hard-laid,
  6. hard-liner,
  7. hard-mouthed,
  8. hard-nose,
  9. hard-nosed,
  10. hard-of-hearing

Origin of hard-line

An Americanism dating back to 1960–65

hard line


an uncompromising or unyielding stand, especially in politics.

Origin of hard line

First recorded in 1965–70

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hard-line

British Dictionary definitions for hard-line

hard line


  1. an uncompromising course or policy
  2. hardline(as modifier)a hardline policy
Derived Formshardliner, noun

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

Word Origin and History for hard-line



1958, originally in reference to Soviet communist policies, from hard + line (n.) in the political sense. Related: Hard-liner (1963).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hard-line

hard line

A firm, uncompromising policy or position. For example, The President was taking a hard line on the budget. [c. 1960]

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