the hard way


: in a way that involves difficult or painful experiences
He found out the hard way that crime doesn't pay.
She insisted on doing things the hard way.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Tennessee Representative Andy Ogles is learning the hard way that the internet has a long memory, as people called him out for an old Instagram post showing his infant son holding a gun. Tori Otten, The New Republic, 29 Mar. 2023 Conservative forces in Ohio and Wyoming are learning that the hard way. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2023 Retreat has serious costs, as Americans have learned the hard way since the Afghanistan withdrawal of 2021. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2023 Yet, as Arozarena and Mexico learned the hard way, this game can be heartbreaking. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 21 Mar. 2023 Thursday’s 116-113 road defeat to the Phoenix Suns was another example of the Magic learning this lesson the hard way. Khobi Price, Orlando Sentinel, 17 Mar. 2023 The lesson Microsoft learned the hard way is that designing computational systems that can communicate with people online is not just a technical problem, but a deeply social endeavor. IEEE Spectrum, 15 Mar. 2023 Danny Wood learned that the hard way. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Mar. 2023 Ivanishvili will learn this the hard way, as will Putin. Will Cathcart, CNN, 10 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'the hard way.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near the hard way

Cite this Entry

“The hard way.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

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