A tough all-weather fabric.
Tough mountaineers; a tough cop.
A tough negotiator.
A tough street group.
A tough winter.
Had a tough day.
It's tough to go to school and work a full-time job. The exam had many tough questions.
It was a tough break to get sick on the day of the concert.
A tough break.
A tough fight.
If you don't like it, tough!
An example of tough is vinyl.
An example of tough is a champion boxer.
An example of tough is the day after a sleepless night.
An example of tough is beef jerky.
- Used to indicate recalcitrance or noncompliance with a complaint or demand.
- To get through despite hardship; endure:
- to remain firm in the face of difficulty, often, specif., in a brazen or defiant way
- to remain firm in the face of (a specified difficulty)A generation that toughed out the Depression.
Other Word Forms
Idioms and Phrasal Verbs
Origin of tough
- Middle English from Old English tōh
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English tough, towgh, tou, toȝ, from Old English tōh (“tough, tenacious, holding fast together; pliant; sticky, glutinous, clammy"), from Proto-Germanic *tanhuz (“fitting; clinging; tenacious; tough"), from Proto-Indo-European *denḱ- (“to bite"), nasalised derivative of Proto-Indo-European *deḱ- (“to tear, rip, fray"). Cognate with Scots teuch (“tough"), North Frisian tōch, tÅ«ch (“tough"), Dutch taai (“tough"), Low German tage, taag, taÃ«, taa (“tough"), German zähe, zäh (“tough"), German dialectal zach (“tough").