hard·​ball | \ ˈhärd-ˌbȯl How to pronounce hardball (audio) \

Definition of hardball

1 : baseball
2 : forceful uncompromising methods employed to gain an end played political hardball

Examples of hardball in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Playing hardball with Ingram leads to more straightforward options but will cost much more in terms of draft capital. Christopher Dodson, Forbes, 7 July 2021 Once again, Patrick, who presides over the Texas Senate, played ego-maniacal hardball with a Texas House speaker. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, 29 May 2021 Like Feeding South Florida, Farm Share is playing hardball. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, 5 June 2021 Go to a Reds hardball game, see a softball game break out. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 2 June 2021 Another was wealthy Milwaukee businessman Joe Checota, a hardball entrepreneur who was trying to replicate the Kohl self-funding model, using the same campaign advisers. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 May 2021 But Sanders threatened no such hardball tactics and instead briefly delayed passage of the defense bill, a broadly symbolic gesture that led to no concessions from the Democratic Party. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, 21 Jan. 2021 None of those Hub hardball dustups could have prepared him for what just happened across the pond. BostonGlobe.com, 21 Apr. 2021 Politicians from both parties expressed outrage at the allegations, amid a growing sense that Mr. Cuomo, long a master of New York’s hardball politics, was in a precarious position. New York Times, 28 Feb. 2021

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

1857, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for hardball

Time Traveler

The first known use of hardball was in 1857

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Statistics for hardball

Last Updated

13 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hardball.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hardball. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of hardball

chiefly US, informal
: forceful and sometimes dishonest methods used to get something you want


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