hard

adjective
\ ˈhärd How to pronounce hard (audio) \

Definition of hard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : not easily penetrated : not easily yielding to pressure hard surfaces an uncomfortably hard chair
b of cheese : not capable of being spread : very firm

2a of liquor

(1) : having a harsh or acid taste
(2) : strongly alcoholic
b : characterized by the presence of salts (as of calcium or magnesium) that prevent lathering with soap hard water
3a : of or relating to radiation of relatively high penetrating power : having high energy hard X-rays
b : having or producing relatively great photographic contrast a hard negative
4a : metallic as distinct from paper hard money
b of currency : convertible into gold : stable in value
c : usable as currency paid in hard cash
d of currency : readily acceptable in international trade
e : being high and unlikely to change hard prices
5a : firmly and closely twisted hard yarns
b of fabrics : having a smooth close napless finish a hard worsted
6a : physically fit in good hard condition
b : resistant to stress or disease : hardy a hard plant
c : free of weakness : unyielding a man of hard unbending will
7a(1) : firm, definite reached a hard agreement
(2) : not speculative or conjectural : factual hard evidence
(3) : important or informative rather than sensational or entertaining hard news
b : close, searching gave a hard look
c : free from sentimentality or illusion : realistic good hard sense
d : unlikely to respond in a kind or sympathetic way : unfeeling a hard heart
8a(1) : difficult to bear or endure hard luck hard times
(2) : oppressive, inequitable sales taxes are hard on the poor a hard restriction
b(1) : lacking consideration, compassion, or gentleness : callous a hard greedy landlord
(2) : incapable of being corrected or disciplined : tough, unruly a hard gang
c(1) : harsh, severe, or offensive in tendency or effect said some hard things
(2) : marked by resentment hard feelings
(3) : strict, unrelenting drives a hard bargain
d : inflicting physical discomfort or hardship : inclement hard winter
e(1) : intense in force, manner, or degree hard blows
(2) : demanding the exertion of energy : calling for stamina and endurance hard work
(3) : performing or carrying on with great energy, intensity, or persistence a hard worker
f : most unyielding or thoroughgoing the hard political right
9a : characterized by sharp or harsh outline, rigid execution, and stiff drawing hard forms
b : sharply defined : stark hard shadows
c : lacking in shading, delicacy, or resonance hard singing tones
d : sounding as in candy and geese respectively used of c and g the word arc is pronounced with a hard c
e : suggestive of toughness or insensitivity hard eyes
10a(1) : difficult to accomplish or resolve : troublesome hard problems the true story was hard to come by
(2) : difficult to comprehend or explain a hard concept
b : having difficulty in doing something hard of hearing
c : difficult to magnetize or demagnetize
11 : being at once addictive and gravely detrimental to health such hard drugs as heroin
12 : resistant to biodegradation hard detergents hard pesticides such as DDT
13 : being, schooled in, or using the methods of the natural sciences and especially of the physical sciences a hard scientist
14 of money : contributed (as by individuals or political action committees) directly to a particular candidate or campaign

hard

adverb

Definition of hard (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : with great or utmost effort or energy : strenuously were hard at work
b : in a violent manner : fiercely hit the ball hard The wind was blowing hard.
c : to the full extent usually used in nautical directions steer hard aport
d : to an immoderate degree been drinking hard lately
e : in a searching, close, or concentrated manner stared hard at me
2a : in such a manner as to cause hardship, difficulty, or pain The economic downturn has hit the poor especially hard.
b : with rancor, bitterness, or grief took the defeat hard
3 : in a firm manner : tightly hold on hard
4 : to the point of hardness frozen hard
5 : close in time or space stands hard by the river

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Choose the Right Synonym for hard

Adjective

hard, difficult, arduous mean demanding great exertion or effort. hard implies the opposite of all that is easy. farming is hard work difficult implies the presence of obstacles to be surmounted or puzzles to be resolved and suggests the need of skill or courage. the difficult ascent of the mountain arduous stresses the need of laborious and persevering exertion. the arduous task of rebuilding

Adjective

hard, firm, and solid mean having a structure that can stand up against pressure. hard is used of something that does not easily bend, stretch, or dent. Steel is hard. firm is used of something that is flexible but also tough or compact. Exercise makes firm muscles. solid is used of something that has a fixed structure and is heavy and compact all the way through. They built a solid wall of bricks.

Examples of hard in a Sentence

Adjective

She was asked a lot of hard questions. We're going to have to make some hard choices. It was very hard to find a replacement for her. Their story is hard to believe. It's hard not to worry about her. It's hard to tell what she's thinking. He has learned a hard lesson. His health has suffered from years of hard living. This old bicycle has obviously gotten some hard use.

Adverb

You have to work hard in order to succeed. I know how hard she tried. She ran as hard as she could. We've thought long and hard about this problem. He hit the ball hard. The ball hit him hard on the wrist. He pressed his nose hard against the window. She pushed hard against the door, but it wouldn't open. The wind was blowing hard. The snow came down hard.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The lawsuit alleged the sham charities lied on their tax forms, underreported cash donations and overreported donations in the form of medicine and supplies, which are harder to trace. J. Edward Moreno, azcentral, "AG: $2.5M settlement against sham nonprofits to be distributed to actual cancer centers," 21 June 2019 While heavy trading is practically guaranteed on Friday, big price moves are harder to predict. Asjylyn Loder, WSJ, "Traders Prep for ‘Quad Witching’ Amid Market Gains," 21 June 2019 Bubble tea is everywhere, but che is harder to find. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Your new spot for matcha cream puffs with edible gold leaf on Newbury Street," 20 June 2019 Larger global issues, such as ocean acidification and polluted runoff, could be harder to tackle. Elizabeth Preston, Science | AAAS, "A growing sensory smog threatens the ability of fish to communicate, navigate, and survive," 20 June 2019 Still, the future and far-reaching economic consequences are harder to predict than the weather. Carol Motsinger, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio's farmland is underwater and unrecognizable. The impact will last even longer than the rain," 19 June 2019 Outside of electricity, good news is harder to come by. David Roberts, Vox, "The global transition to clean energy, explained in 12 charts," 18 June 2019 Details about the lives of Acco, Ben, Franck, Gabriel, Jack, Judah, Moll, Nan, Oney, and William and are obviously harder to come by than for someone like, say, George Washington. Karin Wulf, Smithsonian, "This Long-Ignored Document, Written by George Washington, Lays Bare the Legal Power of Geneaology," 18 June 2019 Sandra Rose Salathe is a writer and die-hard feminist residing in Washington, D.C. Sandra Rose Salathe, Glamour, "Buying My First Vibrator Was the Most Empowering Thing I’ve Ever Done," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

To the members of my staff involved who worked hard on its production. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "Billboard Japan's Mid-Year Charts: Aimyon, Kenshi Yonezu & Gen Hoshino Lead," 7 June 2019 The guys all came to the rehearsal wanting to work hard. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, "Béla Fleck reunites the Flecktones for quickie tour that’s coming to Oakland," 6 June 2019 Pell's supporters branded his conviction as a travesty of justice carried out by a jury who were seeking to pin the blame for the Catholic Church's failings on the shoulders of a man who had in fact been working hard to help victims of Church abuse. Hilary Whiteman, CNN, "Cardinal Pell back in prison while judges consider appeal," 6 June 2019 More importantly, the announcement shows an industry that’s working hard to attract younger generations, and provides proof that for millennial and Gen X buyers, camper vans are the future. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Buying a camper van just got easier with new website," 5 June 2019 The film follows Tester and other young men who work hard to build a live-stream following based mostly on spreading positivity. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Black Mirror’s Miley Cyrus episode rebels against positivity culture," 5 June 2019 In the blog post, Jin concludes by thanking his fans in the BTS ARMY and promises to work hard and keep the solo content coming. Lexi Vollero, EW.com, "Listen to BTS star Jin's new solo song 'Tonight,' a heartwarming ode to his pets," 4 June 2019 The Cincinnati Reds took the tall, hard-throwing left-hander with the seventh overall pick in the MLB Draft. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "MLB Draft tracker: TCU’s Brandon Williamson taken by Seattle Mariners in second round," 3 June 2019 Thanks for teaching me to work hard and laugh harder. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "30 Father's Day Instagram Captions Your Dad Will Absolutely Love," 6 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hard.' 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

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hard

Adjective and Adverb

Middle English, from Old English heard; akin to Old High German hart hard, Greek kratos strength

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Learn More about hard

Statistics for hard

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hard

The first known use of hard was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for hard

hard

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of hard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very firm or solid : not easy to bend, cut, etc. : not soft
: physically or mentally difficult : not easy
: difficult to experience : severe or harsh : having a lot of pain, trouble, or worries

hard

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of hard (Entry 2 of 2)

: with a lot of effort or energy
: in a very forceful way : in a loud and forceful way
: in a very direct and intense way

hard

adjective
\ ˈhärd How to pronounce hard (audio) \
harder; hardest

Kids Definition of hard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not easily cut, pierced, or divided : not soft
2 : difficult to do or to understand a hard job That book contains some hard words.
3 : diligent, energetic I'm a hard worker.
4 : difficult to put up with : severe a hard winter a hard life
5 : sounding as the letter c in cold or the letter g in geese
6 : carried on with steady and earnest effort hours of hard study
7 : unfeeling He's a hard boss.
8 : high in alcoholic content hard drinks
9 : containing substances that prevent lathering with soap hard water

Other Words from hard

hardness \ ˈhärd-​nəs \ noun

hard

adverb
harder; hardest

Kids Definition of hard (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : with great effort or energy I ran as hard as I could. “I would study very hard if I had a governess.”— Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted
2 : in a forceful way The wind blew hard.
3 : with pain, bitterness, or resentment She took the defeat hard.

hard

adjective
\ ˈhärd How to pronounce hard (audio) \

Medical Definition of hard

1 : not easily penetrated : not easily yielding to pressure
2a of liquor : strongly alcoholic specifically : having an alcoholic content of more than 22.5 percent
b : characterized by the presence of salts (as of calcium or magnesium) that prevent lathering with soap hard water
3 : of or relating to radiation of relatively high penetrating power hard X-rays
4a : physically fit in good hard condition
b : resistant to stress (as disease)
5 : being at once addictive and gravely detrimental to health such hard drugs as heroin
6 : resistant to biodegradation hard detergents hard pesticides like DDT

Other Words from hard

hardness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on hard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hard

Spanish Central: Translation of hard

Nglish: Translation of hard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hard for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hard

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