hard·​ship | \ ˈhärd-ˌship How to pronounce hardship (audio) \

Definition of hardship

2 : something that causes or entails suffering or privation

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Examples of hardship in a Sentence

He had suffered through considerable hardship. The city has been experiencing a period of financial hardship. They had to endure the hardships of life on the frontier.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In short, the late ‘60s in Greensboro was a period of tremendous hardship for the city's black population. Eric Ginsburg, Teen Vogue, "The Forgotten History of Greensboro's A&T/Dudley Revolt," 20 May 2019 Without pay, the Coast Guard has come to rely on aid and assistance from food banks and donations, and service members have taken second jobs to help with financial hardship. Ben Kesling, WSJ, "Coast Guard Presses for End to Shutdown as Missed Paychecks Stress Finances," 23 Jan. 2019 Most aren't as quick to admit that middle age can be an equally fraught time, considering health issues like menopause, divorce and family separation, and financial hardships. Devin Tomb, Good Housekeeping, "“At 54, I Don’t Feel As Hopeful”: The Untold Story of Suicide in the U.S.," 21 Sep. 2018 The 1970s were marked by financial hardship and race riots; the '80s saw a plan to redevelop the city with beachside condominiums, which ultimately failed to take off. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Golden Age of Asbury Park," 18 Sep. 2018 Judges have tried to make serving easier in recent years by shortening jury-duty requirements, among other things, but the courts can further ensure truly representative juries by addressing financial hardships too. Tyrone Beason / Columnist, The Seattle Times, "Jury duty taught me that for justice to be blind, courtrooms should look like you and me," 11 Sep. 2018 Recently, celebrity socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized ridesharing apps Uber and Lyft for creating financial hardship on cabdrivers. Greg Gutfeld, Fox News, "Gutfeld on a socialist's hypocrisy on Uber," 29 Aug. 2018 This, the study’s authors wrote in an article about the research, can result in financial hardship or financial loss, along with women changing careers and potentially abandoning their goals. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Women Speak Out About Former Northwestern Professor Alec Klein's Alleged Sexual Harassment," 23 Aug. 2018 Outreach efforts lead to more beneficiaries who take the drug, but that, in turn, could subject the states’ Medicaid budgets to financial hardship. Washington Post, "Out-Of-Pocket Costs Put HIV Prevention Drug Out Of Reach For Many At Risk," 11 July 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for hardship

Last Updated

5 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for hardship

The first known use of hardship was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for hardship



English Language Learners Definition of hardship

: pain and suffering
: something that causes pain, suffering, or loss


hard·​ship | \ ˈhärd-ˌship How to pronounce hardship (audio) \

Kids Definition of hardship

: something (as a loss or injury) that is hard to bear “… we had many hardships to endure besides the fighting …”— Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

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More from Merriam-Webster on hardship

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hardship

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hardship

Spanish Central: Translation of hardship

Nglish: Translation of hardship for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hardship for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hardship

What made you want to look up hardship? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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