[ tuhf ]
/ tʌf /
adjective, tough·er, tough·est.
strong and durable; not easily broken or cut.
not brittle or tender.
difficult to masticate, as food: a tough steak.
of viscous consistency, as liquid or semiliquid matter: tough molasses.
capable of great endurance; sturdy; hardy: tough troops.
not easily influenced, as a person; unyielding; stubborn: a tough man to work for.
hardened; incorrigible: a tough criminal.
difficult to perform, accomplish, or deal with; hard, trying, or troublesome: a tough problem.
hard to bear or endure (often used ironically): tough luck.
vigorous; severe; violent: a tough struggle.
vicious; rough; rowdyish: a tough character; a tough neighborhood.
practical, realistic, and lacking in sentimentality; tough-minded.
Slang. remarkably excellent; first-rate; great.
in a tough manner.
a ruffian; rowdy.
hang tough, Slang. hang(def 56).
tough it out, Informal. to endure or resist hardship or adversity.
Origin of tough
before 900; Middle English (adj.); Old English tōh; compare Dutch taai, German zäh(e)
SYNONYMS FOR tough
tough·ly, adverbtough·ness, nounsu·per·tough, adjectiveun·tough, adjective
un·tough·ly, adverbun·tough·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for tough it out
/ (tʌf) /
strong or resilient; durablea tough material
not tenderhe could not eat the tough steak
having a great capacity for endurance; hardy and fita tough mountaineer
rough or pugnaciousa tough gangster
resolute or intractablea tough employer
difficult or troublesome to do or deal witha tough problem
informal unfortunate or unluckyit's tough on him
a rough, vicious, or pugnacious person
informal violently, aggressively, or intractablyto treat someone tough
hang tough informal to be or appear to be strong or determined
(tr) slang to stand firm, hold out against (a difficulty or difficult situation) (esp in tough it out)
Derived Formstoughish, adjectivetoughly, adverb
Word Origin for tough
Old English tōh; related to Old High German zāhi tough, Old Norse tā trodden ground in front of a house
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
Idioms and Phrases with tough it out (1 of 2)
tough it out
see gut it out.
Idioms and Phrases with tough it out (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with tough
- tough break
- tough it out
- tough nut
- tough row to hoe
- tough sledding
- get tough
- gut (tough) it out
- hang tough
- hard (tough) act to follow
- hard (tough) nut to crack
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.