hard·​ball | \ˈhärd-ˌbȯl \

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

Now a liberal Democratic House majority might feel more empowered to play hardball. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Trump’s free ride from Congress just ended," 7 Nov. 2018 Whether as a member of the rap collective Doomtree, or as a soloist with a new album (Chime), Dessa’s lyrical mix of hardball rap and comedy, and the background sound of avant-garde soul, always proves to be jarring and frank. Philly.com, "Manayunk Arts Festival, Juneteenth, Bluebird Distilling 3rd Anniversary Party, and other events in Philadelphia, June 22-29," 21 June 2018 And Democrats still seethe over his hardball handling of the Supreme Court vacancy after Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016. NBC News, "McConnell's legacy built on winning fights, not friends," 12 June 2018 Trump is also following his own advice in high-stakes dealings with North Korea, in the Iran nuclear deal and with America's friends in Europe and Asia on a hardball trade policy. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump's boss act doesn't always work," 2 May 2018 But this joyful band of engineering and architectural students has designed a blueprint of hardball happiness. Stan Grossfeld, BostonGlobe.com, "The baseball team without a home," 1 May 2018 The bottom of the third inning saw the Indians playing hardball when Bryce Burch scored the team's second run. Jacob Mcadams, Houston Chronicle, "Liberty Panthers pull ahead of Cleveland Indians 11-4," 26 Mar. 2018 But the prime minister may be playing hardball as well. Laura King, latimes.com, "British Prime Minister May's government appears in turmoil amid resignations tied to Brexit," 9 July 2018 The 24-year-old was tipped to join Liverpool earlier this summer but the Reds attempted to play hardball with the French club in the eleventh hour of negotiations, causing ‎Les Gones to pull out of the deal - leaving the Reds with egg on their face. SI.com, "French Journalist Explains Man Utd Fekir Offer as Report Claims Red Devils Submit Bid for Forward," 30 June 2018

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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Statistics for hardball

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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The first known use of hardball was in 1857

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English Language Learners Definition of hardball

: forceful and sometimes dishonest methods used to get something you want

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hardball

Spanish Central: Translation of hardball

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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