hard-boiled

adjective
\ ˈhärd-ˈbȯi(-ə)ld How to pronounce hard-boiled (audio) \

Definition of hard-boiled

1 of an egg : boiled until both white and yolk have solidified
2a : devoid of sentimentality : tough a hard-boiled drill sergeant
b : of, relating to, or being a detective story featuring a tough unsentimental protagonist and a matter-of-fact attitude towards violence
3 : hardheaded, practical hard-boiled business decisions

First Known Use of hard-boiled

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hard-boiled

Time Traveler for hard-boiled

Time Traveler

The first known use of hard-boiled was in 1589

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about hard-boiled

Statistics for hard-boiled

Cite this Entry

“Hard-boiled.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hard-boiled. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hard-boiled

hard-boiled

adjective
How to pronounce hard-boiled (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hard-boiled

of an egg : boiled until all the inside parts have become solid
: not feeling or showing emotions such as affection or kindness : emotionally tough
chiefly US : having a tough detective as the main character

More from Merriam-Webster on hard-boiled

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hard-boiled

Nglish: Translation of hard-boiled for Spanish Speakers

Comments on hard-boiled

What made you want to look up hard-boiled? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!