a mixture of toughness and warmth used in a relationship, especially with an adolescent.
Origin of tough love
First recorded in 1977; after Toughlove, a network of support groups
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for tough love
Contemporary Examples of tough love
the practice of taking a stern attitude towards a relative or friend suffering from an addiction, etc, to help the addict overcome the problem
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