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harshness

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1 a harsh or sharp quality
  • there was a harshness about her voice that made her an unlikely but surprisingly evocative singer of torch songs
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2 the quality or state of being demanding or unyielding (as in discipline or criticism)
  • was surprised at the harshness of the choirmaster's criticism, since he was usually pretty easygoing
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to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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