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
(4) : expressed in a clear and decisive way : leaving no doubt Offers to install an electric door opener at her own expense were met with a hard no from the garage landlords, whose old-fashioned sensibilities dictated that their tenants use multiple manual locks to secure the space.— Ronnie Koenig The editor [Gene Policinski] said he told Ashe that "USA Today does not print unconfirmed stories from unattributed sources, but in the absence of a hard denial, or confirmation, the information seemed credible and we would continue to pursue the story."— William C. Rhoden — see also hard pass
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

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 This is hard in the dry season, says Shikha Rani Mala, who lives in Morrelganj, in the coastal district of Bagerhat. The Economist, "Water in Bangladesh is either unhealthy or pricey," 8 May 2021 Anyone that has the privilege of caring for a child understands that parenting in general can be hard. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Opinion: As a single mother, Mother’s Day has a special significance for me," 7 May 2021 Marion is hard on Lady Bird, but she was never taught the right ways of showing affection. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "7 movies to watch on Mother’s Day," 7 May 2021 It's been hard, Thompson said, and no one is doing ok. Briana Rice, The Enquirer, "'She was taken from us': Daughter, friends talk about Deborah Evans, College Hill shooting victim," 6 May 2021 And any death due to a preventable illness is hard. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "Fairbanks’ pandemic-high spike in COVID-19 patients pushes regional hospital to its limit," 6 May 2021 The emotional journey of running your own company is hard. Amy Shoenthal, Forbes, "From Investment Banker To Investing In Women’s Careers, Meet The Founder Taking On The She-Cession," 6 May 2021 Asylum is never guaranteed and the need for it is hard to prove, something Chavez says many Americans don’t realize. Los Angeles Times, "As immigrants seek refuge, America struggles to live up to its promise," 6 May 2021 A year without baseball has been hard on Salt Lake Bees fans. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Play ball! Salt Lake Bees return to Smith’s Ballpark after lost 2020 season. Here’s what you need to know.," 6 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The national average is 9,760 cases per 100,000 people, though the rates in states hard hit early in the pandemic may be an undercount because of a lack of available testing in March and April 2020. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona reports 939 new COVID-19 cases and 16 new known deaths, with over 2.4M fully vaccinated," 8 May 2021 While India’s cities have been hit hard, inadequate public healthcare in rural areas, where nearly 70 percent of the population live, also puts much of the country at risk. Eve Sneider, Wired, "Pfizer's FDA Request, Vaccine Diplomacy, and More Coronavirus News," 7 May 2021 Corvette Diner just reopened a week ago — albeit not yet at its normal seven days a week — thanks in part to the recruitment of several local theater performers, who’ve also been hit hard by the pandemic. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘It’s like a war,’ San Diego restaurateur says of struggle to find workers," 7 May 2021 Starting with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act — the Cares Act — borrowers hit hard by the pandemic have a right to ask for and receive a forbearance, which permits them to temporarily stop making mortgage payments. Washington Post, "Covid forced more borrowers to be late on their mortgages than at any time since the Great Recession, CFPB reports," 7 May 2021 At the same time, investors have been flocking back to stocks in industries hard-hit by the pandemic—like energy and financials—as businesses reopen, travel picks back up and the economy recovers. Jonathan Ponciano, Forbes, "Here's Why Tech Stocks Are Rallying After 'Massively Disappointing' Jobs Report," 7 May 2021 Both maladies have hit our schools hard, but in different ways. John C. “chuck” Chalberg, Star Tribune, "There's another virus plaguing our schools," 7 May 2021 The largest job gains in April were in leisure and hospitality, two industries that had been particularly hard-hit during the pandemic. New York Times, "Job Growth Slowed in April, Muddling Expectations," 7 May 2021 Long-term care facilities, particularly nursing homes with vulnerable populations, were hit hard early on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Fully vaccinated staff at long-term care facilites won't have routine COVID-19 tests," 7 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for hard

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hard

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hard. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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.

Choose the Right Synonym for hard

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.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on hard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hard

Nglish: Translation of hard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hard for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hard

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