adjective, tough·er, tough·est.
- tough break,
- tough it out,
- tough love,
- tough nut,
- tough pitch
Origin of tough
Examples from the Web for tough
His flesh is sagging a bit, but he is still trim and looks lean, sinewy and tough.
“You ask me my motivation,” Marvin says, moving back into his tough guy persona again.
After a bunch of tough talk, this round of the hacker-on-hacker fight nevered materialized.
But it certainly contributed, and purposely so, to the defeat of the tough Likud hardliner Yitzhak Shamir in 1992.The Inside Story of U.S. Meddling in Israel’s Elections|Aaron David Miller|December 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It was tough for a while, but I knew who I was, so I stayed true to it.Exclusive: Michael Phelps’s Intersex Self-Proclaimed Girlfriend, Taylor Lianne Chandler, Tells All|Aurora Snow|November 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In high school he had sought to establish himself as a hardened sinner—a drinker and tough citizen.Gargoyles|Ben Hecht
It looks as if the lady-secretary's luncheon would be a tough proposition.
"But you must admit that it is a tough proposition to mine here," said Mr. Brewster.Polly and Eleanor|Lillian Elizabeth Roy
The guards and most of the personnel were experienced and tough.The Planet Strappers|Raymond Zinke Gallun
It had been a tough year, filled with intensive study in the quest for an officer's commission in the Solar Guard.The Revolt on Venus|Carey Rockwell
Word Origin for tough
Old English toh "difficult to break or chew," from Proto-Germanic *tankhuz (cf. Middle Low German tege, Middle Dutch taey, Dutch taai, Old High German zach, German zäh). See rough for spelling change.
Figurative sense of "strenuous, difficult, hard to beat" is first recorded c.1200; that of "hard to do, trying, laborious" is from 1610s. Verb tough it "endure the experience" is first recorded 1830, American English. Tough guy first recorded 1932. Tough-minded first recorded 1907 in William James. Tough luck first recorded 1912; tough shit is from 1946.
"street ruffian," 1866, American English, from tough (adj.).
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