adjective, tough·er, tough·est.
Origin of tough
Synonyms for tough
Antonyms for tough
Related Words for toughstenacious, vigorous, stiff, solid, hard, tight, resilient, healthy, harsh, resolute, terrible, strict, severe, desperate, stern, fierce, narrow, hard-nosed, troublesome, arduous
Examples from the Web for toughs
Contemporary Examples of toughs
Street battles between rival gangs of toughs are now reportedly raging in cities around the country.Thy Hand, Great Anarch!
August 14, 2013
With the coup enacted, though, the response even among the toughs, at Rabaa at least, seemed one of apprehension.The Crackdown Begins
July 4, 2013
Historical Examples of toughs
Toughs as they were, these two men fully appreciated the company they were in.The Law-Breakers
You say my paper isn't fit for aught but toughs and muckers?Rippling Rhymes
We might even turn the Toughs loose on them, without weapons.
Why, he wondered, didn't the Masters make the Toughs sweep their own barracks?
Shadow appeared at the recess to report to them that the Toughs had passed on.
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