hardball

[ hahrd-bawl ]
/ ˈhɑrdˌbɔl /

noun

baseball, as distinguished from softball.

adjective

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

QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Idioms for hardball

    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. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for hardball

British Dictionary definitions for hardball

hardball
/ (ˈhɑːdbɔːl) /

noun

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