A hard hat as worn by construction workers.
- An example of hard is the feeling of a rock.
- An example of hard is scoring a good grade on a test in a subject that one has never studied.
- An example of hard is a winter with a lot of wind and freezing rain.
- not easily dented, pierced, cut, or crushed; resistant to pressure; firm and unyielding to the touch; rigid; solid and compact
- having firm muscles; in good bodily trim; vigorous and robust
- showing, or done with, great force or strength; powerful; violent; vigorous: a hard blow
- demanding great physical or mental effort or labor; fatiguing; difficult; specif.,
- difficult to do: hard work
- difficult to understand, explain, or answer: a hard question
- difficult to deal with; not easily managed or controlled: a man hard to live with
- firmly fastened or tied: a hard knot
- not easily moved; unfeeling; callous: a hard heart
- unfriendly; hostile: hard feelings
- practical and shrewd or calculating, esp. in an unyielding way: to drive a hard bargain
- firm or definite, esp. in an aggressive way: a hard line in foreign policy
- undeniable, reliable, or actual: hard facts
- consisting of the basic facts about major events, as opposed to presenting feature stories, opinion, etc.: hard news
- causing or characterized by pain or discomfort; specif.,
- difficult to endure; trying: a hard life
- harsh; severe; stern: a hard master, hard words
- characterized by hardship, setbacks, etc.: hard luck
- very cold, stormy, etc.; inclement: a hard winter
- harsh, stiff, and wiry: said of fibers or cotton
- having no nap: said of a finish for fabric
- having a texture that is firm, dense, wiry, etc.: a dog with a hard coat
- clearly defined or having sharp contrast; distinct: hard outlines
- too clear, bright, or penetrating to be pleasant: a hard light
- containing mineral salts that interfere with the lathering and cleansing properties of soap, that corrode metals, etc.: said of water
- energetic and persistent; steady and earnest: a hard worker
- fermented; alcoholic: hard cider
- containing a relatively high percentage of alcohol; strong: hard liquor
- Informal of or pertaining to a hard drug
- : said of money
- of metal, not paper
- of currency or coin, not credit
- : said of certain currencies
- that can be exchanged for gold or silver
- that is readily accepted as foreign exchange
- Phonet.: not used in these ways as a technical term by phoneticians
- designating c sounded as in can or g sounded as in gun: a hard g
- voiceless, as the sound of s in sin
- not palatalized: said as of certain consonants in Slavic languages
- Agric. high in gluten content: hard wheat
- Chem. not easily biodegradable: said of detergents and pesticides
- Commerce high and stable: said of a market, prices, etc.
- Mil. heavily fortified: said as of an underground installation: a hard base
- Radiology of high penetrating power: said of X-rays
Origin of hardMiddle English from Old English heard, akin to German hart from Indo-European base an unverified form kar-, hard from source Classical Greek karyon, nut, kratos, strength
- energetically and persistently; steadily and earnestly: work hard
- with strength, violence, or severity: hit hard
- with difficulty: often used in hyphenated compounds: hard-earned, hard-sought
- so as to withstand much wear, use, etc.: hard-wearing clothes
- deeply; fully; soundly: sleep hard
- firmly; tightly: hold on hard
- close; near: we live hard by the woods
- so as to be or make firm, solid, or rigid: to freeze hard
- with vigor and to the fullest extent: used esp. in indicating direction: hard alee! turn hard right
be hard on
- to treat severely; be harsh toward
- to be difficult, unpleasant, or painful for
be hard put (to it)
hard and fast
hard of hearing
play hard to get
- a. Resistant to pressure; not readily penetrated; firm or solid: a hard material.b. Well protected from an attack, as by aerial bombardment: bunkers and other hard targets.
- a. Requiring great effort or endurance: a hard assignment.b. Performed with or marked by great diligence or energy: a project that required years of hard work.c. Difficult to resolve, accomplish, or finish: That was a hard question.d. Difficult to understand or impart: Physics was the hardest of my courses. Thermodynamics is a hard course to teach.
- Proceeding or performing with force, vigor, or persistence; assiduous: a hard worker.
- a. Intense in force or degree: a hard blow.b. Inclement or severe: a long, hard winter.
- a. Stern, strict, or demanding: a hard taskmaster.b. Lacking compassion or sympathy; callous: became hard after years in prison.
- a. Difficult to endure; causing hardship or suffering: a hard life.b. Oppressive or unjust in nature or effect: restrictions that were hard on welfare applicants.c. Harsh or severe in effect or intention: I said some hard things that I regret.d. Marked by stubborn refusal to compromise or yield; uncompromising: drives a hard bargain.e. Bitter or resentful: hard feelings caused by the insult.f. Showing disapproval, bitterness, or resentment: gave me a hard look.
- a. Causing damage or premature wear: Snow and ice are hard on a car's finish.b. Bad; adverse: hard luck.
- a. Real and unassailable: hard evidence.b. Definite; firm: a hard commitment.c. Free from illusion or sentimentality; practical or realistic: We need to take a hard look at the situation.d. Using or based on data that are readily quantified or verified: the hard sciences.
- a. Marked by sharp delineation or contrast: a hard line separating the two lists.b. Lacking in shade; undiminished: the hard light of the midday sun.
- Being a turn in a specific direction at an angle more acute than other possible routes.
- a. Metallic, as opposed to paper. Used of currency.b. Backed by bullion rather than by credit. Used of currency.c. High and stable. Used of prices.
- a. Durable; lasting: hard merchandise.b. Written or printed rather than stored in electronic media: sent the information by hard mail.
- Erect; tumid. Used of a penis.
- a. Having high alcoholic content; intoxicating: hard liquor.b. Rendered alcoholic by fermentation; fermented: hard cider.
- Containing dissolved salts that interfere with the lathering action of soap or other cleansing agents. Used of water.
- Linguistics Velar, as in c in cake or g in log, as opposed to palatal or soft.
- Physics Of relatively high energy; penetrating: hard x-rays.
- High in gluten content: hard wheat.
- Chemistry Resistant to biodegradation: a hard detergent.
- Extremely or dangerously addictive. Used of certain illegal drugs, such as heroin.
- With strenuous effort; intently: worked hard all day; stared hard at the accused criminal.
- With great force, vigor, or energy: pressed hard on the lever.
- In such a way as to cause great damage or hardship: industrial cities hit hard by unemployment.
- With great distress, grief, or bitterness: took the divorce hard.
- Firmly; securely: held hard to the railing.
- Toward or into a solid condition: concrete that sets hard within a day.
- Near in space or time; close: The factory stands hard by the railroad tracks.
- Nautical Completely; fully: hard alee.
Origin of hardMiddle English from Old English heard ; see kar- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative harder, superlative hardest)
- Resistant to pressure.
- This bread is so stale and hard, I can barely cut it.
- Requiring a lot of effort to do or understand
- a hard problem
- Demanding a lot of effort to endure.
- a hard life
- severe, harsh, unfriendly, brutal
- a hard master; a hard heart; hard words; a hard character
- (dated) Difficult to resist or control; powerful.
- hard evidence
- Of drink, strong.
- (of a road intersection) Having a comparatively larger or a ninety-degree angle.
- At the intersection, there are two roads going to the left. Take the hard left.
- Of water, high in dissolved calcium compounds.
- (slang, vulgar, of a male) Sexually aroused.
- I got so hard watching two hot girls wrestle each other on the beach.
- (bodybuilding) Having muscles that are tightened as a result of intense, regular exercise.
- (physics) Of a ferromagnetic material, having the capability of being a permanent magnet by being a material with high magnetic coercivity (compare soft)
- (phonetics) plosive
- There is a hard c in "clock" and a soft c in "centre".
- (art) Rigid in the drawing or distribution of the figures; formal; lacking grace of composition.
- (art) Having disagreeable and abrupt contrasts in colour or shading.
(comparative harder, superlative hardest)
- (manner) With much force or effort.
- He hit the puck hard up the ice.
- They worked hard all week.
- At the intersection, bear hard left.
- The recession hit them especially hard.
- Think hard about your choices.
- (manner) With difficulty.
- His degree was hard earned.
- The vehicle moves hard.
- (manner) Compactly.
- The lake had finally frozen hard.
- (now archaic) Near, close.
From Middle English, from Old English heard (“hard”), from Proto-Germanic *harduz, from Proto-Indo-European *kert-, *kret- (“strong; powerful”). Cognate with West Frisian hurd, Dutch hard, Low German hard, hart, German hart, Danish hård.