hard put


: barely able : faced with difficulty or perplexity
was hard put to find an explanation

Examples of hard put in a Sentence

she was hard put to explain her department's excessive expenditures
Recent Examples on the Web From Brazil to Germany, companies are hard put to crew up, such is the demand by series and movies. John Hopewell, Variety, 10 May 2023 But with an evenly split Senate, and Democrats hard put to get to the 60-vote threshold needed to prevent Republicans from blocking their bills, Ms. Sinema – together with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia – has come under particular fire for her refusal to scrap the filibuster. Stephanie Hanes, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Aug. 2021 This item, which has more in common with a tabletop decoration than a functioning reticule, would be hard put to accommodate a hairbrush; a cellphone would dwarf it. Lynn Yaeger, Town & Country, 22 Jan. 2023 Japan itself, with a stagnant economy and the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, will be hard put to sustain the necessary military buildup. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 28 Nov. 2022 But this is a tale of two women, and you’d be hard put to nominate one of them as the obvious heroine, or to say who is sweating under the greater stress. The New Yorker, 25 Feb. 2022 One is hard put, though, to find anyone singling out Lincoln as a racist fiend either before his murder or for decades thereafter. Sean Wilentz, The New York Review of Books, 13 Apr. 2021 Without trade and movement between Iran and Iraq, however, Tehran will be hard put to get some of its non-oil industries fully functional again. Falih Hassan, New York Times, 21 Apr. 2020 Almost choked by automobiles that are usually left home in garages by would-be riders, the lots were hard put to find room for the vehicles of later-arriving shoppers . Scott Harrison, latimes.com, 19 June 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hard put.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1893, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hard put was in 1893

Dictionary Entries Near hard put

Cite this Entry

“Hard put.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hard%20put. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

hard put

: barely able
hard put to describe it
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