[ hahrd-bawl ]
/ ˈhɑrdˌbɔl /


baseball, as distinguished from softball.


tough or ruthless: He wasn't ready for the hardball politics of Washington.
outspoken, challenging, or difficult: Reporters asked the president some hardball questions.


    play hardball, to act or work aggressively, competitively, or ruthlessly, as in business or politics.

Origin of hardball

First recorded in 1825–35; hard + ball1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hardball

British Dictionary definitions for hardball


/ (ˈhɑːdbɔːl) /


US and Canadian baseball as distinct from softball
play hardball informal, mainly US and Canadian to act in a ruthless or uncompromising way
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