Synonyms & Antonyms of tough

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 not easily chewed
  • her steak was so tough that she suggested the waiter use it as a hockey puck

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5 requiring exceptional skill or caution in performance or handling
  • handled a tough situation with the aplomb and tact of a true diplomat

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Synonyms of tough (Entry 2 of 2)

a violent, brutal person who is often a member of an organized gang
  • didn't want her son hanging out with the neighborhood toughs

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strong, stout, sturdy, stalwart, tough, tenacious mean showing power to resist or to endure. strong may imply power derived from muscular vigor, large size, structural soundness, intellectual or spiritual resources. strong arms the defense has a strong case stout suggests an ability to endure stress, pain, or hard use without giving way. stout hiking boots sturdy implies strength derived from vigorous growth, determination of spirit, solidity of construction. a sturdy table people of sturdy independence stalwart suggests an unshakable dependability. stalwart environmentalists tough implies great firmness and resiliency. a tough political opponent tenacious suggests strength in seizing, retaining, clinging to, or holding together. tenacious farmers clinging to an age-old way of life

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Time Traveler for tough

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The first known use of tough was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Tough.” The Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tough

Dictionary: Definition of tough

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tough

Spanish Central: Translation of tough

Nglish: Translation of tough for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tough for Arabic Speakers

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easily led, controlled, or managed

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