: gained by great effort

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web No diagnosis or intervention was handed to us; each was hard-won and highly scrutinized. Erin Prater, Fortune Well, 18 Feb. 2023 Complement, growth, faith, and yes, even independence, so hard-won for me — these fit better, but were still too simplistic to encompass the reality of what this love could be in all its layered complications. Cassidy Randall, Longreads, 16 Feb. 2023

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

1586, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hard-won was in 1586

Dictionary Entries Near hard-won

Cite this Entry

“Hard-won.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hard-won. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

A Good Old-Fashioned Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?