1

hard

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adjective \ ˈhärd \

Definition of hard

1 a :not easily penetrated :not easily yielding to pressure
  • hard surfaces
  • an uncomfortably hard chair
b of cheese :not capable of being spread :very firm
2 a 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
3 a :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
4 a :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
5 a :firmly and closely twisted
  • hard yarns
b of fabrics :having a smooth close napless finish
  • a hard worsted
6 a :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
7 a (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
8 a (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
9 a :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
10 a (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

Examples of hard in a Sentence

  1. She was asked a lot of hard questions.

  2. We're going to have to make some hard choices.

  3. It was very hard to find a replacement for her.

  4. Their story is hard to believe.

  5. It's hard not to worry about her.

  6. It's hard to tell what she's thinking.

  7. He has learned a hard lesson.

  8. His health has suffered from years of hard living.

  9. This old bicycle has obviously gotten some hard use.

Recent Examples of hard from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of hard

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

Synonym Discussion of hard

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

2

hard

adverb

Definition of hard

1 a :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
2 a :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

Examples of hard in a Sentence

  1. You have to work hard in order to succeed.

  2. I know how hard she tried.

  3. She ran as hard as she could.

  4. We've thought long and hard about this problem.

  5. He hit the ball hard.

  6. The ball hit him hard on the wrist.

  7. He pressed his nose hard against the window.

  8. She pushed hard against the door, but it wouldn't open.

  9. The wind was blowing hard.

  10. The snow came down hard.

Recent Examples of hard from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of hard

see 1hard


HARD Defined for English Language Learners

hard

play
adjective

Definition of hard for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of hard for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

hard

play
adjective \ ˈhärd \

Definition of hard for Students

harder; hardest
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

hardness

\ˈhärd-nəs\ noun

Synonym Discussion of hard

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.

2

hard

adverb

Definition of hard for Students

harder; hardest
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.

Medical Dictionary

hard

play
adjective \ ˈhärd \

medical Definition of hard

1 :not easily penetrated :not easily yielding to pressure
2 a 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
4 a :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

hardness

noun


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