hard

adjective
\ ˈhärd How to pronounce hard (audio) \

Definition of hard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : not easily penetrated : not easily yielding to pressure hard surfaces an uncomfortably hard chair
b of cheese : not capable of being spread : very firm
2a 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
3a : 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
4a : 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 unlikely to change hard prices
5a : firmly and closely twisted hard yarns
b of fabrics : having a smooth close napless finish a hard worsted
6a : physically fit in good hard condition
b : resistant to stress or disease : hardy a hard plant
c : free of weakness : unyielding a man of hard unbending will
7a(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
(4) : expressed in a clear and decisive way : leaving no doubt Offers to install an electric door opener at her own expense were met with a hard no from the garage landlords, whose old-fashioned sensibilities dictated that their tenants use multiple manual locks to secure the space.— Ronnie Koenig The editor [Gene Policinski] said he told Ashe that "USA Today does not print unconfirmed stories from unattributed sources, but in the absence of a hard denial, or confirmation, the information seemed credible and we would continue to pursue the story."— William C. Rhoden — see also hard pass
b : close, searching gave a hard look
c : free from sentimentality or illusion : realistic good hard sense
d : unlikely to respond in a kind or sympathetic way : unfeeling a hard heart
8a(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) : incapable of being corrected or disciplined : tough, unruly a hard gang
c(1) : harsh, severe, or offensive in tendency or effect said some hard things
(2) : marked by resentment hard feelings
(3) : strict, unrelenting drives a hard bargain
d : inflicting physical discomfort or hardship : 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
9a : characterized by sharp or harsh outline, rigid execution, and stiff drawing hard forms
b : sharply defined : stark hard shadows
c : lacking in shading, delicacy, or resonance hard singing tones
d : sounding as in candy and geese respectively used of c and g the word arc is pronounced with a hard c
e : suggestive of toughness or insensitivity hard eyes
10a(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 : being at once addictive and gravely detrimental to health such hard drugs as heroin
12 : resistant to biodegradation hard detergents hard pesticides such as DDT
13 : being, schooled in, or using the methods of the natural sciences and especially of the physical sciences a hard scientist
14 of money : contributed (as by individuals or political action committees) directly to a particular candidate or campaign

hard

adverb

Definition of hard (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : with great or utmost effort or energy : strenuously were hard at work
b : in a violent manner : fiercely hit the ball hard The wind was blowing hard.
c : to the full extent usually used in nautical directions steer hard aport
d : to an immoderate degree been drinking hard lately
e : in a searching, close, or concentrated manner stared hard at me
2a : in such a manner as to cause hardship, difficulty, or pain The economic downturn has hit the poor especially hard.
b : with rancor, bitterness, or grief took the defeat hard
3 : in a firm manner : tightly hold on hard
4 : to the point of hardness frozen hard
5 : close in time or space stands hard by the river

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Choose the Right Synonym for hard

Adjective

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

Examples of hard in a Sentence

Adjective She was asked a lot of hard questions. We're going to have to make some hard choices. It was very hard to find a replacement for her. Their story is hard to believe. It's hard not to worry about her. It's hard to tell what she's thinking. He has learned a hard lesson. His health has suffered from years of hard living. This old bicycle has obviously gotten some hard use. Adverb You have to work hard in order to succeed. I know how hard she tried. She ran as hard as she could. We've thought long and hard about this problem. He hit the ball hard. The ball hit him hard on the wrist. He pressed his nose hard against the window. She pushed hard against the door, but it wouldn't open. The wind was blowing hard. The snow came down hard.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Mike Lindell, the far-right CEO of MyPillow, may soon find this out the hard way. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Dominion Voting Systems’ Legal Rampage Against Trump’s Grifters," 24 Feb. 2021 For a lot of viewers, both in and out of the church, the salamander story is going to be hard to wrap their heads around. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, "‘Murder Among the Mormons’ brings the story of infamous Salt Lake City bombings to Netflix," 23 Feb. 2021 The first printed edition of De Architectura appeared in 1486, while Leonardo was hard at work painting Virgins for the Duke of Milan. Jessica Riskin, The New York Review of Books, "When Engineers Were Humanists," 23 Feb. 2021 Since the early days of the pandemic, the museum has been hard at work curating a rotating collection of educational opportunities for children and adults alike, along with plenty of virtual tours, that will satisfy your lust for travel, for now. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "The Louvre Is Undergoing a Major Renovation While Closed Due to the Pandemic," 22 Feb. 2021 But mifepristone is difficult to find in Venezuela, and so most women do it the hard way. New York Times, "Venezuelan Women Lose Access to Contraception, and Control of Their Lives," 20 Feb. 2021 The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on Bernadette Yee, who lives at Laguna Honda, San Francisco’s largest skilled nursing facility. Catherine Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "In Bay Area nursing homes, 'the vaccine is already saving lives'," 20 Feb. 2021 Germany learned the hard way that when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine, its massive investment in wind and solar doesn't work. Washington Examiner Staff, Washington Examiner, "Texas deep-freeze catastrophe: Partisan power plays amid power outages," 19 Feb. 2021 Being the viral public face of crisis is dangerous territory -- as the Democratic governors of California and New York have found out the hard way of late. Rick Klein, ABC News, "'Flyin’ Ted' fuels Democratic hopes of blue Texas: The Note," 19 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Add to that the effects of places that have already been hit really hard, where the virus seemed to be kind of burning out, at least temporarily, on its own. The Atlantic, "Listen: Infections, Vaccinations, and Other Questions," 25 Feb. 2021 The state opened these sites to boost vaccination rates in areas of the city hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, the governor said. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, "Some New Jersey Nursing Homes Will Resume Visitations as Covid-19 Cases Fall," 25 Feb. 2021 The national average is 8,432 cases per 100,000 people, though the rates in states hard hit early on in the pandemic may be an undercount because of a lack of available testing in March and April. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, "COVID-19 patients continue to occupy fewer hospital beds as state reports 1,310 cases, 43 deaths," 25 Feb. 2021 More vaccines are headed to the vast Central Valley, an agricultural region whose workers and residents have been hard-hit by coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Bloody Sunday plans, defining pandemics, teacher dilemmas: News from around our 50 states," 24 Feb. 2021 Transit ridership in the Detroit area, like the rest of the country, has been hit hard by the pandemic. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "DDOT, SMART prepare to resume fare collection after installing COVID-19 safety features," 24 Feb. 2021 But the pandemic hit the U.S. hard and the festival was cancelled, which was a blow at first. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Talks 'GUM GUM GIRL' Single & Launching Her New Label," 24 Feb. 2021 Black entrepreneurs in the Inland Empire have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus crisis and are struggling to find a way forward. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: The case of the misused vaccine access codes," 23 Feb. 2021 Bay Area Asian communities have been hit hard by the recent violence, including Chinatowns in Oakland and San Francisco, where Asians over 60 have been targeted in robberies, burglaries and assaults. NBC News, "N.Y., Calif. lawmakers promise resources, protection in wake of attacks on Asian seniors," 23 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hard.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hard

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hard

Adjective and Adverb

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

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Time Traveler for hard

Time Traveler

The first known use of hard was before the 12th century

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Statistics for hard

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hard. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for hard

hard

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of hard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

hard

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of hard (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

hard

adjective
\ ˈhärd How to pronounce hard (audio) \
harder; hardest

Kids Definition of hard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not easily cut, pierced, or divided : not soft
2 : difficult to do or to understand a hard job That book contains some hard words.
3 : diligent, energetic I'm a hard worker.
4 : difficult to put up with : severe a hard winter a hard life
5 : sounding as the letter c in cold or the letter g in geese
6 : carried on with steady and earnest effort hours of hard study
7 : unfeeling He's a hard boss.
8 : high in alcoholic content hard drinks
9 : containing substances that prevent lathering with soap hard water

Other Words from hard

hardness \ ˈhärd-​nəs \ noun

hard

adverb
harder; hardest

Kids Definition of hard (Entry 2 of 2)

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 : in a forceful way The wind blew hard.
3 : with pain, bitterness, or resentment She took the defeat hard.

Choose the Right Synonym for hard

Adjective

hard, firm, and solid mean having a structure that can stand up against pressure. hard is used of something that does not easily bend, stretch, or dent. Steel is hard. firm is used of something that is flexible but also tough or compact. Exercise makes firm muscles. solid is used of something that has a fixed structure and is heavy and compact all the way through. They built a solid wall of bricks.

hard

adjective
\ ˈhärd How to pronounce hard (audio) \

Medical Definition of hard

1 : not easily penetrated : not easily yielding to pressure
2a of liquor : strongly alcoholic specifically : having an alcoholic content of more than 22.5 percent
b : characterized by the presence of salts (as of calcium or magnesium) that prevent lathering with soap hard water
3 : of or relating to radiation of relatively high penetrating power hard X-rays
4a : physically fit in good hard condition
b : resistant to stress (as disease)
5 : being at once addictive and gravely detrimental to health such hard drugs as heroin
6 : resistant to biodegradation hard detergents hard pesticides like DDT

Other Words from hard

hardness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on hard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hard

Nglish: Translation of hard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hard for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hard

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