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

Blackjewel furloughed most of its Wyoming employees and shut down Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines, the first idled by hardship since coal mining in the Powder River Basin exploded in the 1970s. Washington Post, "Workers off the job question future of top US coal region," 15 Sep. 2019 This has inflicted significant hardship and serious harm on these veterans and has frustrated the intent of the Congress that their Federal student loan debt be discharged. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "Trump signs order to expedite forgiving student loan debt for disabled veterans," 21 Aug. 2019 Kelly Hoover - CASA Volunteer Sometimes, another person’s story of hardship and perseverance can inspire us to make a change in our own life. Brian Sodoma, azcentral, "Inspired by one foster child’s story, advocate reaches out to help disadvantaged youth," 22 May 2018 Freezing temperatures and intense ultraviolet radiation add to the hardships. Xing Liu, Science Magazine, "At 5100 meters elevation, a Peruvian gold mining town is the world’s highest settlement—and a good place to study how life at extremely low oxygen levels ravages the body.," 12 Sep. 2019 The hardship created by these exemptions has been equally dramatic, depressing demand and prices for biofuels. Tim Walz, Twin Cities, "Tim Walz: Exempting refineries from biofuel requirements is a kick in the gut to farmers," 6 Sep. 2019 Despite the hardships, the storm clouds seem to have cleared for Bieber. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Justin Bieber Talks Drug Abuse and Past Relationships in an Emotional Instagram Post," 3 Sep. 2019 Dairy farms — Wisconsin's signature industry — are experiencing the most hardship. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Agriculture secretary and GOP Senate leader at odds over funding for mental health services for farmers," 24 July 2019 Roxanne and Jason, who moved to the rural city of Dayton following their daughter's death, worry that those against the bill underestimate the hardships today's teens face. NBC News, "New bill allows Oregon students to take 'mental health days'," 21 July 2019

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

9 Oct 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

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