\ˈhärd-ˈkȯr \

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 \, 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

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 And although a hard core would never forgive any softening of Brexit, many more will tune out next March, once Brexit is formally achieved and the blue passports have been issued. The Economist, "Britain is heading for a soft Brexit," 16 June 2018 In KGB’s heyday, the District was home to underground punk, hard core, hip-hop and go-go music scenes, all with their own taggers. Anthony J. Rivera, Washington Post, "Living D.C. graffiti legend went from rowdy thug to art teacher," 28 June 2018 With her powerful legs and rock-hard core, Magone can kick and walk on logs as narrow as 11 inches — sometimes for more than an hour. Yadira Sanchez Olson, Lake County News-Sun, "Junior logroller from Wauconda showcasing her skills on 'Little Big Shots'," 27 June 2018 Walter was an avid hunter, enjoyed playing softball, and was a hard core New England Patriots fan who relished DJing at parties. courant.com, "Walter Greene jr.," 4 June 2018 Primus and Mastodon are both bands that come from the world of heavy metal but resist categorization: The former blends it with prog rock and funk; the latter skews toward thrash and hard core. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 31 May 2018 On the socialist left, which forms the die-hard core of his support, the 2016 success of both Trump and Bernie Sanders is seen as conclusive proof that America has rejected liberal capitalism once and for all. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Why Trump’s Assault on Democracy Doesn’t Bother the Illiberal Left," 16 May 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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Statistics for hard-core

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hard-core

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hard-core

Comments on hard-core

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


living or existing for a long time

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