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

Joined at the White House by hard-hat tower climbers, farmers and ranchers—representing groups that could benefit from 5G’s rollout in the U.S.—Mr. John D. Mckinnon And Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, "U.S. Moves to Accelerate 5G Rollout in Race With China," 12 Apr. 2019 No hard feelings on Shawn's part, though– at least publicly. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Are Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber Friends? Here’s All The Drama That’s Gone Down Between Them," 8 Apr. 2019 Turning a profit gets much harder when there is less wind to begin with. Umair Irfan, Vox, "4 maps that show who’s being left behind in America’s wind-power boom," 28 Mar. 2019 Advertising Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin in the 1990s and marketed it hard to doctors, making tens of billions of dollars from the drug. Geoff Mulvihill, The Seattle Times, "Maker of OxyContin agrees to $270M settlement in Oklahoma," 27 Mar. 2019 Many recognize that clamping down too hard could lead to backlash. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Intel hopes to clean up toxic speech in game chat with AI and machine learning," 20 Mar. 2019 But there’s still a potential for optimism that’s hard to find in other parts of the tech world. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: AR and VR," 30 Dec. 2018 For one thing, digital transactions are harder to hide and thus easier to collect taxes on. Town & Country, "Is This the End of Cash?," 28 Jan. 2019 While the combination of slowing growth overseas, fading tax-cut and spending stimulus and the cumulative effects of the Fed’s rate increases suggest the economy should slow, that hasn’t shown up in the hard data. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Warning to Investors: Powell Is No Greenspan," 15 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Whether your skin is sensitive, dry, normal, or oily, there’s a hard-working formula out there that’s primed for the season ahead. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Best Face Washes to Swap Into Your Morning Routine," 28 Mar. 2019 Don't worry, Reba—your fellow country gals are working hard. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Reba McEntire Sounds Off About the ‘Bro Trend’ That Led to Controversial ACM Nominations," 28 Mar. 2019 Companies are also working hard to improve opportunities for women in the workplace. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "Designer Anita Dongre Talks Dressing Priyanka Chopra, Beyoncé, and Sophie Turner," 14 Mar. 2019 Both stars have something in common—other than being inspiring, hard-working, and two of my idols—their taste in mattresses. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams Swear By This Mattress," 12 Mar. 2019 Steve Irwin's wife, Terri, has worked hard with her two children to celebrate the Crocodile Hunter's legacy—and he was recently honored with a Google Doodle for his 57th birthday. Katina Beniaris, Woman's Day, "Steve Irwin's Wife Reveals the Heartbreaking Reason Why She Hasn't Dated Since He Died," 22 Feb. 2019 But both the White House and Saudi lobbyists were also working hard to build support for US involvement in the Yemen war. Tara Golshan, Vox, "The bizarre story of Democrats helping Republicans stall action on Yemen," 15 Dec. 2018 And the sizzle reel of the collaboration is some hard-working, goosebump-raising goodness. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Hurley and Carhartt Created Stylish Workwear We Didn't Know We Wanted," 9 Feb. 2019 Think hard before removing all those walls because there’s likely no going back. Kate Wagner, Curbed, "To renovate or not to renovate?," 5 Sep. 2018

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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Learn More about hard

Statistics for hard

Last Updated

16 Apr 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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