adjective, tough·er, tough·est.
- tough break,
- tough it out,
- tough love,
- tough nut,
- tough pitch
Origin of tough
Examples from the Web for toughly
The old end-chimney bore it toughly up, however, and the low brick props under the corners stood plumb.The Entailed Hat|George Alfred Townsend
In spite, however, of their slight build they are toughly made and very tenacious of life.Mimicry in Butterflies|Reginald Crundall Punnett
Hands plucked at them toughly from all sides, and their pistols and few remaining grenades were taken from them.Air Service Boys in the Big Battle|Charles Amory Beach
I hang tenderly over Aleck—while he, poor boy, hangs so toughly over God knows what—and fervently do I pray for him.The Letters of Henry James, Vol. II|Henry James
Not of woven stuff was the sail, but of many well-dressed skins of leather, that it might toughly withstand any gale.Ulric the Jarl|William O. Stoddard
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