get tough on

idiomatic phrase

: to deal harshly with
Greece promised last week to get tough on tax evasion …Alan Clendenning
Environmental groups and health agencies such as the American Lung Association have pushed lawmakers to get tough on polluters and enact stricter smog limits …Melissa Knopper
"… For a long time in the United States, the politics around law and order have been, get tough on crime. … "Paul Butler

Word History

First Known Use

1945, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of get tough on was in 1945

Dictionary Entries Near get tough on

Cite this Entry

“Get tough on.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

What Did You Just Call Me?

  • brown chihuahua sitting on the floor with squinting eyes looking at the camera
  • Before we went to her house, Hannah told us her aunt was a flibbertigibbet.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?