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 This 1918 poem of surviving through hardship and still being thankful is very relevant in 2020. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: ‘Gratitude helps us to not sweat the small stuff, and remember it’s all small stuff’," 27 Nov. 2020 Online applications for hardship assistance are open until the end of November. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Navajo homes getting electricity with CARES Act funding," 27 Nov. 2020 They may have been scathed by personal hardship, or spit out by the financial collapse of 2008. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Economic Ruthlessness on the Open Road in “Nomadland”," 27 Nov. 2020 This 1918 poem of surviving through hardship and still being thankful is very relevant in 2020. cleveland, "Some poems to help celebrate Thanksgiving: Dear Annie," 26 Nov. 2020 Only in the spring, a senior official in the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel predicted Thursday, indicating ongoing hardship for many businesses over the coming months. David Meyer, Fortune, "Christmas aside, Germany prepares for a long, locked-down winter," 26 Nov. 2020 Food banks across the Bay Area have been working overtime to help the hundreds of thousands who are food insecure, many of whom have fallen into hardship because of the pandemic. Kellie Hwang, SFChronicle.com, "How to help Bay Area food banks for the holidays and beyond," 25 Nov. 2020 Seeing his growth brought joy to the family during hardship spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic that crippled the family’s gymnastics gym in Chatsworth. Los Angeles Times, "Baby Liam, who inspired UCLA’s women’s gymnastics team, dies at age 2," 25 Nov. 2020 First and foremost, let it be recorded gratefully that our people, millions of them encountering a hardship not known before our time, have shown qualities that all the usual words fail to describe. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: The Thanksgiving holiday was born in a time of hardship," 24 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for hardship

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hardship

Last Updated

1 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hardship.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hardship. Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for hardship


How to pronounce hardship (audio)

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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