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

Communities are coming together in the face of these hardships, though. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "California's Fires Lead to School Closings, Poor Air Quality, and Public Service Shutdowns as Death Toll Climbs," 16 Nov. 2018 In October, about 1,000 student veterans called the VA education call center to request help because of hardships related to the payment problem, VA spokesman Curt Cashour said. Ben Kesling, WSJ, "Computer Flubs Left Vets Short of Housing Benefits," 15 Nov. 2018 Grimes is appealing for immediate eligibility via a medical hardship. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "Mullen adds talent to the Gators roster with a commitment from junior college tight end," 15 June 2018 Currently many students spend dozens of hours deciding which passion, hardship or lesson-learned to write on, and then spend hundreds of dollars—if not more—for writing tutors to edit the essay. WSJ, "Make Students Prove Their Writing Skills," 12 July 2018 Anna survived a difficult life and hardships under German occupation, being forced to work in Germany until the Allied Liberation. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Anna Sufin," 10 July 2018 Breaking up the band, despite the hardships, was never an option. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Houston’s Wild Moccasins learn to love again on new album," 3 July 2018 Many individual businesses could soon endure hardship, too. Paul Wiseman, The Seattle Times, "What you need to know about the upcoming U.S.-China tariffs," 2 July 2018 In the face of hardships back home, football has united a country and restored national pride. SI.com, "Peru's World Cup Journey: Part 3 - Incas Seek Sochi Salvation After the Dream Ends Early," 25 June 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

20 Nov 2018

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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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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).


by force of circumstances

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