hard water



water that contains magnesium, calcium, or iron salts and therefore forms a soap lather with difficulty.

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

Examples from the Web for hard water

Historical Examples of hard water

  • A French commissioner reported that apparently people in hard-water districts had a better physique than in soft-water districts.

    Rural Hygiene

    Henry N. Ogden

  • These crispy croutons answer as a substitute for hard-water crackers and are also relished by most people.

  • Every drop of hard-water we consumed had to be brought to our doors and paid for by the “Hessian” or bucket.

hard water in Culture

hard water

Water in which dissolved minerals make it difficult to produce a lather with soap.


Hard water is usually associated with well water in regions where the rocks contain a large proportion of iron-bearing minerals.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.