tough-mind·​ed ˈtəf-ˌmīn-dəd How to pronounce tough-minded (audio)
: realistic or unsentimental in temper or outlook
tough-minded survivors
tough-mindedness noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web It's been a lot of tough-minded, talented players, but three have stood out as the catalysts: Ace senior pitcher Michael Karlin, senior outfielder Ian Bailey and senior catcher Connor Morrison. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 21 Apr. 2023 Vallas, who has never won elective office, had finished first, casting himself as a tough-minded technocrat who would reinvigorate the police department in a city whose voters call crime their biggest concern. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, 2 Apr. 2023 But this has been a tough-minded Deer Valley bunch that has never backed down from a challenge. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 28 Feb. 2023 This was Lightfoot 2019, the candidate whose expansive and tough-minded vision had won over the city. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, 25 Feb. 2023 At work at the discount store, Emily taunts and defies the tough-minded, conscientious assistant manager, Rita (Alfre Woodard). Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1907, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tough-minded was in 1907

Dictionary Entries Near tough-minded

Cite this Entry

“Tough-minded.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on tough-minded

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