: marked by difficult or painful experiences or circumstances
For all of his gifts, Cabrera's greatest strength may be a toughness that came from his hard-knock life.Alan Shipnuck

Examples of hard-knock in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Having spent over a decade playing troubled young women in films such as Atonement, Killer Joe, Afternoon Delight and Unsane, Temple had effectively established herself as a dramatic actress who could tap into the darkness of a hard-knock life many times over. Max Gao, Harper's BAZAAR, 13 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hard-knock.' 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

1967, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hard-knock was in 1967

Dictionary Entries Near hard-knock

Cite this Entry

“Hard-knock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hard-knock. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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