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 White’s dad, Tyrone, would check in regularly with advice, reminders, tough love, and words of encouragement., 18 June 2021 The tough love her sister doled out more than a decade ago Senghore's best advice today for women who are working up the nerve to make a big career change. Erin Delmore, NBC News, 4 June 2021 The menagerie of sculptures have served in playgrounds across the city for decades, and have endured the tough love of countless children. Caroline Spivack, Curbed, 27 May 2021 My dermatologist finally sat me down for some tough love, explaining that my hair was thinning. Keli Goff, Vogue, 13 Apr. 2021 Now, Irvine will bring his trademark tough love and intense focus to the business. Anna Caplan, Dallas News, 3 June 2021 Concrete Cowboy, a wonderful Netflix film about a black teen named Cole who gets rescued from drug-dealing street life by his father’s tough love, is an inspiring and beautiful story. Kyle Smith, National Review, 27 Apr. 2021 Korn’s past with the NCAA is further revealed, and his tough love approach might be a bit much for some players. Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2021 Sometimes families need tough love to iron out issues. oregonlive, 12 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for tough love

Time Traveler

The first known use of tough love was in 1968

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Statistics for tough love

Last Updated

22 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tough love.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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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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