tough love


Definition of tough love 

: love or affectionate concern expressed in a stern or unsentimental manner (as through discipline) especially to promote responsible behavior

Examples of tough love in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

My hit of the week is tough love from parents who evicted their son in court. Fox News, "Trump calls on DOJ to look into 2016 campaign surveillance," 27 May 2018 West Ham United manager David Moyes says that a spot of 'tough love' is the reason why Marko Arnautovic is back to his best once again., "David Moyes Cites 'Tough Love' As Reason Behind Marko Arnautovic's Upturn in Form at West Ham," 7 Apr. 2018 And then there’s the voice of her mother, all tough love. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "South Africa's unlikely ultramarathoner helps others cross the finish line," 6 July 2018 Freeman’s tough love helped the debate team win the 24th Annual International Forensic Association Tournament in 2013, among countless other accolades. Elizabeth Myong, Houston Chronicle, "TSU debate coach’s legacy celebrated at his 99th birthday party," 1 July 2018 The 39-year-old, who has since rebuilt his property from scratch, isn’t big on tough love. Amelia Lester, New York Times, "Australians Can’t Get Enough of the Barefoot Investor," 29 June 2018 Barack Obama broke a months-long public silence on Thursday to offer the Democrat party a dose of tough love at a political fundraiser in Beverly Hills. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "'You Are Right to Be Concerned.' Barack Obama Breaks Silence to Speak About the Importance of Voting," 29 June 2018 Not for the tough love from running backs coach Duce Staley. Marcus Hayes,, "Duce Staley and Donnel Pumphrey make peace during Eagles offseason | Marcus Hayes," 23 May 2018 The dessert’s later use as a projectile becomes an expression of something like tough love. James Hebert,, "'Loneliest Girl' squeezes insight and wit from story of Anita Bryant," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tough love.' 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 tough love

1968, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for tough love

The first known use of tough love was in 1968

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More Definitions for tough love

tough love


English Language Learners Definition of tough love

: love or concern that is expressed in a strict way especially to make someone behave responsibly

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a state of commotion or excitement

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