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
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

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.

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

Neither side wants to see the return of a hard border between the two, which would be disruptive to trade and Ireland’s economy. BostonGlobe.com, "There have been few outward signs of progress to suggest the two sides will find a way to sort out the thorniest of issues — the question of how to handle the Irish border in a post-Brexit Europe — and European negotiators are still waiting for the British government to present a new plan.," 17 Sep. 2019 Rugs are hard for people to know about — their age, history, condition. Martha Mccully, Los Angeles Times, "Browsing: Shopping for rugs with interior designer Adam Hunter," 17 Sep. 2019 The statement-making clothing with bold colors and interesting silhouettes is hard to miss and has earned the likings of celebs including Kylie Jenner and Lizzo. Asia Milia Ware, Teen Vogue, "Teen Vogue Generation Designer Anifa Mvuemba Is Dedicated to Creating Space for Young Black Women," 10 Sep. 2019 When that happens, those banana skins are much harder to avoid and points start to get dropped. SI.com, "Why Aymeric Laporte's Injury Makes Liverpool Favourites for the Premier League Title," 14 Sep. 2019 Again, hard pass, at least until a low-impact version is developed and endorsed by objective scientists who are neutral on the issue. Faran Krentcil, Harper's BAZAAR, "Should Fur Be Illegal?," 13 Sep. 2019 Uncover and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 300°F or hard-crack stage, approximately 3 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Candy Apples with Gummy Worms," 13 Sep. 2019 The cold hard truth is that most people don’t visit all ten candidate websites before the debates or even the primaries. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "It’s Not That Hard to Have a Substantive Exchange About Global Warming," 13 Sep. 2019 As climate change continues to alter disease patterns and disrupt health systems, its effect on human health will become harder to ignore. Adrienne Hollis, Time, "Climate Change Isn't Just a Global Threat—It's a Public Health Emergency," 12 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The racial undertones of Gilbert’s letter were hard to ignore. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "The Most Notable NBA Feuds This Past Decade," 17 Sep. 2019 The only difference is one of them has a hard-to-find matte finish. Allure, "UZ Just Debuted 7 Shade of Black Eyeliner, and We Swatched Them All," 10 Sep. 2019 The aftermath of the flooding was hard, Burrows recounted. Hannah Knowles, Washington Post, "Bahamas shelter staff listened as dogs howled amid Dorian floods — then went silent," 9 Sep. 2019 Fiers was hard on himself despite the win and the conditions. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Mike Fiers’ win streak snaps, Astros rout Athletics in historic home run frenzy," 9 Sep. 2019 The pass rushers of the division are hard enough to face once, much less twice a season. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals offensive line ready to put 2018 in the past, protect Kyler Murray," 6 Sep. 2019 In truth, lesbian relationships, like any others, can be really, really hard. Linzy Rosen, Teen Vogue, "Misogyny in Lesbian Dating Exists," 6 Sep. 2019 In an era in which body-positivity activists have been working hard to help women uncouple their sense of self-worth from the numbers on a scale, that’s one controversial plot. Sarah Todd, Quartzy, "Can you be body-positive and want to lose weight?," 4 Sep. 2019 Akindele said that the call-up felt particularly hard-fought due to the current boom in attacking talent on the Canadian national team. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Five international call-ups reflect growth for Orlando City players," 30 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for hard

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hard

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

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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.

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hard

Spanish Central: Translation of hard

Nglish: Translation of hard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hard for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hard

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