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adjective \ˈhärd\

Simple Definition of hard

  • : very firm or solid : not easy to bend, cut, etc. : not soft

  • : physically or mentally difficult : not easy

  • : difficult to experience : severe or harsh : having a lot of pain, trouble, or worries

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of hard

  1. 1 a :  not easily penetrated :  not easily yielding to pressure b of cheese :  not capable of being spread :  very firm

  2. 2 a of liquor (1) :  having a harsh or acid taste (2) :  strongly alcoholic b :  characterized by the presence of salts (as of calcium or magnesium) that prevent lathering with soap <hard water>

  3. 3 a :  of or relating to radiation of relatively high penetrating power :  having high energy <hard X rays> b :  having or producing relatively great photographic contrast <a hard negative>

  4. 4 a :  metallic as distinct from paper <hard money> b of currency :  convertible into gold :  stable in value c :  usable as currency <paid in hard cash> d of currency :  readily acceptable in international trade e :  being high and firm <hard prices>

  5. 5 a :  firmly and closely twisted <hard yarns> b :  having a smooth close napless finish <a hard worsted>

  6. 6 a :  physically fit <in good hard condition> b :  resistant to stress or disease c :  free of weakness or defects

  7. 7 a (1) :  firm, definite <reached a hard agreement> (2) :  not speculative or conjectural :  factual <hard evidence> (3) :  important or informative rather than sensational or entertaining <hard news> b :  close, searching <gave a hard look> c :  free from sentimentality or illusion :  realistic <good hard sense> d :  lacking in responsiveness :  obdurate, unfeeling <a hard heart>

  8. 8 a (1) :  difficult to bear or endure <hard luck> <hard times> (2) :  oppressive, inequitable <sales taxes are hard on the poor> <a hard restriction> b (1) :  lacking consideration, compassion, or gentleness :  callous <a hard greedy landlord> (2) :  incorrigible, tough <a hard gang> c (1) :  harsh, severe, or offensive in tendency or effect <said some hard things> (2) :  resentful <hard feelings> (3) :  strict, unrelenting <drives a hard bargain> d :  inclement <hard winter> e (1) :  intense in force, manner, or degree <hard blows> (2) :  demanding the exertion of energy :  calling for stamina and endurance <hard work> (3) :  performing or carrying on with great energy, intensity, or persistence <a hard worker> f :  most unyielding or thoroughgoing <the hard political right>

  9. 9 a :  characterized by sharp or harsh outline, rigid execution, and stiff drawing b :  sharply defined :  stark <hard shadows> c :  lacking in shading, delicacy, or resonance <hard singing tones> d :  sounding as in arcing and geese respectively —used of c and g e :  suggestive of toughness or insensitivity <hard eyes>

  10. 10 a (1) :  difficult to accomplish or resolve :  troublesome <hard problems> <the true story was hard to come by> (2) :  difficult to comprehend or explain <a hard concept> b :  having difficulty in doing something <hard of hearing> c :  difficult to magnetize or demagnetize

  11. 11 :  being at once addictive and gravely detrimental to health <such hard drugs as heroin>

  12. 12 :  resistant to biodegradation <hard detergents> <hard pesticides such as DDT>

  13. 13 :  being, schooled in, or using the methods of the natural sciences and especially of the physical sciences <a hard scientist>

  14. 14 of money :  contributed (as by individuals or political action committees) directly to a particular candidate or campaign

Examples of hard in a sentence

  1. She was asked a lot of hard questions.

  2. We're going to have to make some hard choices.

  3. It was very hard to find a replacement for her.

  4. Their story is hard to believe.

  5. It's hard not to worry about her.

  6. It's hard to tell what she's thinking.

  7. He has learned a hard lesson.

  8. His health has suffered from years of hard living.

  9. This old bicycle has obviously gotten some hard use.

Origin and Etymology of hard

Middle English, from Old English heard; akin to Old High German hart hard, Greek kratos strength

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of hard

hard, difficult, arduous mean demanding great exertion or effort. hard implies the opposite of all that is easy <farming is hard work>. difficult implies the presence of obstacles to be surmounted or puzzles to be resolved and suggests the need of skill or courage <the difficult ascent of the mountain>. arduous stresses the need of laborious and persevering exertion <the arduous task of rebuilding>.




Simple Definition of hard

  • : with a lot of effort or energy

  • : in a very forceful way : in a loud and forceful way

  • : in a very direct and intense way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of hard

  1. 1 a :  with great or utmost effort or energy :  strenuously <were hard at work> b :  in a violent manner :  fiercely c :  to the full extent —usually used in nautical directions <steer hard aport> d :  to an immoderate degree e :  in a searching, close, or concentrated manner <stared hard at me>

  2. 2 a :  in such a manner as to cause hardship, difficulty, or pain b :  with rancor, bitterness, or grief <took the defeat hard>

  3. 3 :  in a firm manner :  tightly

  4. 4 :  to the point of hardness <frozen hard>

  5. 5 :  close in time or space <stands hard by the river>

Examples of hard in a sentence

  1. You have to work hard in order to succeed.

  2. I know how hard she tried.

  3. She ran as hard as she could.

  4. We've thought long and hard about this problem.

  5. He hit the ball hard.

  6. The ball hit him hard on the wrist.

  7. He pressed his nose hard against the window.

  8. She pushed hard against the door, but it wouldn't open.

  9. The wind was blowing hard.

  10. The snow came down hard.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of hard

before 12th century

HARD Defined for Kids



adjective \ˈhärd\

Definition of hard for Students



  1. 1 :  not easily cut, pierced, or divided :  not soft

  2. 2 :  difficult to do or to understand <a hard job> <That book contains some hard words.>

  3. 3 :  diligent, energetic <I'm a hard worker.>

  4. 4 :  difficult to put up with :  severe <a hard winter> <a hard life>

  5. 5 :  sounding as the letter c in cold or the letter g in geese

  6. 6 :  carried on with steady and earnest effort <hours of hard study>

  7. 7 :  unfeeling <He's a hard boss.>

  8. 8 :  high in alcoholic content <hard drinks>

  9. 9 :  containing substances that prevent lathering with soap <hard water>


\ˈhärd-nəs\ noun




Definition of hard for Students



  1. 1 :  with great effort or energy <I ran as hard as I could.> <“I would study very hard if I had a governess.” — Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted>

  2. 2 :  in a forceful way <The wind blew hard.>

  3. 3 :  with pain, bitterness, or resentment <She took the defeat hard.>

Medical Dictionary


adjective \ˈhärd\

Medical Definition of hard

  1. 1:  not easily penetrated :  not easily yielding to pressure

  2. 2aof liquor :  strongly alcoholic; specifically :  having an alcoholic content of more than 22.5 percentb:  characterized by the presence of salts (as of calcium or magnesium) that prevent lathering with soap <hard water>

  3. 3:  of or relating to radiation of relatively high penetrating power <hard X-rays>

  4. 4a:  physically fit <in good hard condition>b:  resistant to stress (as disease)

  5. 5:  being at once addictive and gravely detrimental to health <such hard drugs as heroin>

  6. 6:  resistant to biodegradation <hard detergents> <hard pesticides like DDT>



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up hard? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to depart quickly

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