hard·​ship | \ ˈhärd-ˌship \

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

Making things worse, Carll said migrant youth are likely to have higher emotional needs after going through hardship, enduring the journey north and being held in detention. Garance Burke And Martha Mendoza, The Seattle Times, "US waived FBI checks on staff at growing teen migrant camp," 28 Nov. 2018 Bentley beautifully describes harvesting, baking, and delighting in sand-pear pies as a tradition among them that marked the milestones of womanhood and knitted the family together through hardship. Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "A Family’s Pear Pie Tradition Binds Them Together," 16 May 2018 In our Emmy-nominated series, Note to Self, iconic figures who have pushed boundaries and triumphed through hardship have written letters to their younger selves. CBS News, "Note to Self: Call for submissions," 29 Mar. 2018 Some of the brightest minds in the world have gone through similar financial hardship. Don Markus, baltimoresun.com, "Nearly quarter-century after leaving Maryland as NBA's top pick, Joe Smith in different spotlight," 13 Mar. 2018 Warren’s message about the intersection between these economic hardships and issues of race is well-documented, as well. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Elizabeth Warren Called Out the "Rigged" U.S. Economic System During an HBCU Commencement Speech," 17 Dec. 2018 Yet that rosy economic outlook is a sharp contrast to the economic hardships that thousands of New Mexican families are facing. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "New Mexico elects Michelle Lujan Grisham as first Democratic Latina governor in the US," 7 Nov. 2018 The demonstrations have been fueled in large part by pervasive despair caused by the blockade that has caused widespread economic hardship and left the coastal territory with crippling fuel shortages and just a few hours of electricity a day. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Israeli jets strike Gaza terror targets after Hamas launches dozens of rockets," 2 Oct. 2018 Now, Camp Pendleton is one of several military installations that until recently were under review for a temporary detention center for migrants — many flowing out of Mexico and Central America because of economic hardship and violence. Anh Do, latimes.com, "Vietnamese refugees who got a warm welcome from America puzzle at family separations, harsh rhetoric," 1 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

13 Feb 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 \

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

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very full or close together

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