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 Something else, then, must indicate his villainy, and Ratcliffe violates Disney’s favorite American norms — individualism, hard work, modesty — immediately. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, "Deconstructing Disney: Queer Coding and Masculinity in Pocahontas," 13 Apr. 2021 For recall proponents, that’s when the hard work begins. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Newsom recall is a revolt of red-state California," 13 Apr. 2021 Fife and Woodson have common roots, both former Knight recruits who joined IU basketball because it was founded on ideals such as hard work and being coachable. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "New assistant Dane Fife passionately explains how he'll help rebuild IU basketball culture," 13 Apr. 2021 Don't let all your planning and hard work go to waste by plating your meal on a ho-hum plate. Kelsey Ogletree, Better Homes & Gardens, "12 Food Styling Tips from Celebrity Chefs to Try at Dinner Tonight," 13 Apr. 2021 Public health experts have warned of hard work ahead to immunize enough Americans to slow the spread of COVID-19. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, "Three states will open vaccines to all adults this week; Florida reports single-digit COVID deaths: Live COVID-19 updates," 12 Apr. 2021 But now those weeds popping up are eyesores and an offense to all your hard work. Arricca Elin Sansone, House Beautiful, "How to Rid Your Lawn of Common Problems," 12 Apr. 2021 And the only way to stop it for good is to do the hard work of getting a bill through Congress. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Biden is poised to expand Bears Ears and Grand Staircase monuments. The real question is by how much?," 11 Apr. 2021 And everyone was missing out on the point of my hard work. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "Catherine Zeta-Jones Is Enjoying Herself," 11 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The possibility of labor strikes come as the nursing home industry, which was hit hard by COVID-19, continues to struggle financially. Susan Haigh, courant.com, "Connecticut nursing homes fear impact of 52 possible strikes," 14 Apr. 2021 For the fierce, urgent title track from sophomore album, Eric B. & Rakim refined their sound, moving from the hard-hitting beats typical to hip hop of the 1980s to a more bass-heavy sound with elements of jazz and funk. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "200 greatest hip-hop songs of all time," 13 Apr. 2021 The metrics used to sort the counties, however, have changed over the past month as more Californians living in areas hard-hit by the coronavirus have been inoculated. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, "Only one county left in purple tier as California’s COVID-19 reopenings continue," 13 Apr. 2021 That fact-checking process took on a new level of intensity, of course, with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, as restaurants globally were hit hard. New York Times, "How Do You Write an Anthony Bourdain Book Without Anthony Bourdain?," 13 Apr. 2021 But News Corp has been hit hard by the economic changes that have rattled the industry, and its demands that the Journal double its audience risk killing the golden goose. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Don’t Change, Wall Street Journal," 13 Apr. 2021 And unlike the original strain of the novel coronavirus, the more contagious B.1.1.7 strain is hitting young people particularly hard. Holly Yan, CNN, "More young people are getting hospitalized as a 'stickier,' more infectious coronavirus strain becomes dominant," 12 Apr. 2021 The pair wrestled another hard-hitting match as their undeniable chemistry continues. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, "WWE WrestleMania 37 Results: Hulk Hogan And The Winners, Losers Of Night 2," 12 Apr. 2021 Elliott stepped in for Earl Thomas III and brought hard-hitting swagger as a run defender. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Ranking the Ravens’ top five draft priorities: Edge rusher, offensive lineman or wide receiver? | ANALYSIS," 12 Apr. 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

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hard. Accessed 21 Apr. 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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