hardscrabble

[ hahrd-skrab-uhl ]
/ ˈhɑrdˌskræb əl /

adjective

providing or yielding meagerly in return for much effort; demanding or unrewarding: the hardscrabble existence of mountainside farmers.

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Origin of hardscrabble

An Americanism dating back to 1795–1805; hard + scrabble
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for hardscrabble

British Dictionary definitions for hardscrabble

hardscrabble
/ (ˈhɑːdˌskræbəl) /

noun US informal

(modifier) (of a place) difficult to make a living in; barren
great effort made in the face of difficulties
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