tough love

noun

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

That was all well and good, but Dave Snell, whose career had petered out at Class AA in the Mariners organization in 1988, gave his son a dose of tough love. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "With encouragement from dad, Shorewood’s Blake Snell grows into MLB All-Star," 16 July 2018 And for now, the team is sticking with him at right tackle, hoping a little early tough love will help Ifedi turn things around. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Analysis: Impressions from day 9 of Seahawks training camp — A Kam Chancellor sighting, Ifedi stays put, and more," 6 Aug. 2018 But tough love doled out by families is another form of coerced treatment. Fox News, "Should people with drug addictions be forced into rehab?," 24 June 2018 But the tough love is what struck me about Season 2; rather than just get him new clothes that fit, clothing expert Tan France hauled a subject who'd recently put on weight to a gym. Daniel D'addario, chicagotribune.com, "Review: 'Queer Eye' Season 2 on Netflix," 7 June 2018 President Trump giving it NATO and Germany specifically a little tough love. Fox News, "The politics of Trump's tough love for NATO," 12 July 2018 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. SI.com, "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

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.

See More

First Known Use of tough love

1968, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tough love

Share tough love

Statistics for tough love

Last Updated

19 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tough love

The first known use of tough love was in 1968

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tough love

tough love

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tough love

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

More from Merriam-Webster on tough love

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tough love

Comments on tough love

What made you want to look up tough love? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by shyness and lack of polish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!