\ ˈhärd-ˈkȯr How to pronounce hard-core (audio) \

Definition of hard-core

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or being part of a hard core hard-core poverty the hard-core unemployed
b : confirmed, die-hard hard-core rock fans a hard-core liberal
2 of pornography : containing explicit descriptions of sex acts or scenes of actual sex acts — compare soft-core
3 : characterized by or being the purest or most basic form of something : fundamental a room gussied up in hard-core French provincial style— John Canaday

hard core


Definition of hard core (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a central or fundamental and usually enduring group or part: such as
a : a relatively small enduring core of society marked by apparent resistance to change or inability to escape a persistent wretched condition (such as poverty or chronic unemployment)
b : a militant or fiercely loyal faction
2 usually hardcore \ ˈhärd-​ˌkȯr How to pronounce hardcore (audio) \, chiefly British : hard material in pieces (such as broken bricks or stone) used as a bottom (as in making roads and in foundations)

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Examples of hard-core in a Sentence


He knows that he can count on the support of a hard core of party loyalists.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There has always been a hard core of anti-gun extremists, exemplified by the 20 percent of persons in opinion polls who want to ban all handguns. David B. Kopel, National Review, "Trump Must Not Break His Promises to Gun-Rights Supporters," 16 Aug. 2019 But the hard core that remains is more coherent, uniting strands of the radical right, explains Johannes Filous, co-founder of Strassengezwitscher, a journalistic group that monitors Saxony’s far right. The Economist, "Germany’s far right: strong in the east, weak in the west," 18 July 2019 Some of them are hard core and will never come around. BostonGlobe.com, "Readers React: ‘Trump’s presidency is so toxic, on so many levels, that he has triggered immense resistance to his worldview’," 3 Aug. 2019 This does not suggest there is a hard core of consumers who will keep companies in line. The Economist, "Many consumers neither read nor understand the contracts they sign," 27 July 2019 For most of the soccer season, the far ends of the Parc des Princes stadium here house the hardest core of Paris Saint-Germain fans, the groups that chant the loudest, smuggle in flares, and spark the most fights. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "France Kicks Off Women’s World Cup With 4-0 Victory Over South Korea," 8 June 2019 Providing those guarantees in the agreement could, British officials believe, convince all but a hard core of 20-30 pro-Brexit lawmakers to back the withdrawal deal. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, "As Brexit Deadline Nears, EU Loses Confidence in May," 13 Feb. 2019 Rigorous Testing To achieve selection, all the suppressors under consideration were challenged to meet hard core requirements. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Weapons upgrade set to make US Special Operations even more deadly," 13 Sep. 2018 Not even the hardest core NRA types are happy about felons packing heat. Jack Greiner, Cincinnati.com, "Concealed carry: Why keeping Ohio's concealed carry permit records secret could be dangerous," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hard-core.' 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-core


1934, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1841, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for hard-core

The first known use of hard-core was in 1841

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More Definitions for hard-core



English Language Learners Definition of hard-core

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very active and enthusiastic
: showing or describing sex acts very openly

hard core


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

: a small number of very active and enthusiastic members of a group : the most devoted and active members of a group

More from Merriam-Webster on hard-core

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hard-core

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