or hard·nosed

[ hahrd-nohzd ]
/ ˈhɑrdˌnoʊzd /

adjective Informal.

hardheaded or tough; unsentimentally practical: a hard-nosed labor leader.

Nearby words

  1. hard-laid,
  2. hard-line,
  3. hard-liner,
  4. hard-mouthed,
  5. hard-nose,
  6. hard-of-hearing,
  7. hard-on,
  8. hard-pressed,
  9. hard-put,
  10. hard-rock

Origin of hard-nosed

First recorded in 1885–90

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

Examples from the Web for hard-nosed

British Dictionary definitions for hard-nosed



informal tough, shrewd, and practical
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-nosed



"stubborn," 1927, from hard + nose (n.). Earlier of bullets or shells with hard tips, and of dogs that had difficulty following a scent. Not in common use before 1950s, when it begins to be used of tough or relentless characters generally (Damon Runyon characters, U.S. Marines, Princeton professors, etc.). Soft-nosed seems to have been used only of bullets.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper