hard: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (härd), [key]
— adj., adv., n. -er, -est, -er, -est,
  1. not soft; solid and firm to the touch; unyielding to pressure and impenetrable or almost impenetrable.
  2. firmly formed; tight: a hard knot.
  3. difficult to do or accomplish; fatiguing; troublesome: a hard task.
  4. difficult or troublesome with respect to an action, situation, person, etc.: hard to please; a hard time.
  5. difficult to deal with, manage, control, overcome, or understand: a hard problem.
  6. involving a great deal of effort, energy, or persistence: hard labor; hard study.
  7. performing or carrying on work with great effort, energy, or persistence: a hard worker.
  8. vigorous or violent in force; severe: a hard rain; a hard fall.
  9. bad; unendurable; unbearable: hard luck.
  10. oppressive; harsh; rough: hard treatment.
  11. austere; severe: a hard winter; the hard times of the Great Depression.
  12. harsh or severe in dealing with others: a hard master.
  13. difficult to explain away; undeniable: hard facts.
  14. that can be verified; factual, as distinguished from speculation or hearsay: hard information.
  15. harsh or unfriendly; resentful; severe; bitter: hard feelings; hard words.
  16. of stern judgment or close examination; searching: a hard look.
  17. lacking delicacy or softness; not blurred or diffused; clear and distinct; sharp; harsh: a hard line; a hard, bright light; hard features; a hard face.
  18. (of a photograph) contrasty.
  19. severe or rigorous in terms: a hard bargain.
  20. sternly realistic; dispassionate; unsentimental: a hard, practical man; a hard view of life.
  21. incorrigible; disreputable; tough: a hard character.
  22. niggardly; stingy.
  23. in coins or paper money as distinguished from checks, securities, promissory notes, or other negotiable instruments).
  24. (of paper money or a monetary system) supported by sufficient gold reserves and easily convertible into the currency of a foreign nation.
  25. (of money) scarce or available at high interest rates: a hard loan.
  26. denoting assets with intrinsic value, as gold, silver, or diamonds.
  27. (of alcoholic beverages) hard cider.
    1. containing more than 22.5 percent alcohol by volume, as whiskey and brandy as opposed to beer and wine.
    2. strong because of fermentation; intoxicating:hard cider.
  28. (of wine) tasting excessively of tannin.
  29. (of an illicit narcotic or drug) known to be physically addictive, as opium, morphine, or cocaine.
  30. (of water) containing mineral salts that interfere with the action of soap.
  31. (of bread and baked goods) hard rolls.
    1. having a firm, crisp crust or texture:hard rolls.
    2. stale or tough.
  32. (of a fabric) having relatively little nap; smooth: Silk is a harder fabric than wool or cotton.
  33. (of the landing of a rocket or space vehicle) executed without decelerating:Cf. soft (def. 28). a hard landing on the moon.
  34. (of a missile base) equipped to launch missiles from underground silos.
  35. (of a missile) capable of being launched from an underground silo.
  36. being underground and strongly protected from nuclear bombardment.
  37. noting wheats with high gluten content, milled for a bread flour as contrasted with pastry flour.
    1. fortis.
    2. (of c and g) pronounced as (k) in come and (g) in go, rather than as in cent, cello, suspicion, gem, or beige.
    3. (of consonants in Slavic languages) not palatalized. Cf. soft (def. 26).
  38. (in the making of rope) noting a lay having a considerable angle to the axis of the rope; short.
  39. (of a beam of particles or photons) having relatively high energy:Cf. soft (def. 29). hard x-rays.
  40. (of the penis) erect.
  41. See
  42. The country is hard up for technicians and doctors.
    1. urgently in need of money.
    2. feeling a lack or need:The country is hard up for technicians and doctors.
  1. with great exertion; with vigor or violence; strenuously: to work hard; to try hard.
  2. earnestly, intently, or critically: to look hard at a thing.
  3. harshly or severely.
  4. so as to be solid, tight, or firm: frozen hard.
  5. with strong force or impact: She tripped and came down hard on her back.
  6. in a deeply affected manner; with genuine sorrow or remorse: She took it very hard when they told her of his death.
  7. closely; immediately: Failure and defeat seemed hard at hand. The decision to ban students from the concerts followed hard on the heels of the riot.
  8. to an unreasonable or extreme degree; excessively; immoderately: He's hitting the bottle pretty hard.
  9. closely, fully, or to the extreme limit: hard aport; hard alee.
  10. to deal harshly with; be stern: You are being too hard on him.
  11. in close proximity to; near: The house is hard by the river.
  12. in great perplexity or difficulty; at a loss: We were hard put to finish the examination in one hour.
  1. a firm or paved beach or slope convenient for hauling vessels out of the water.
    1. a firm or solid beach or foreshore.
    2. a firm landing, jetty, or road across or adjoining the foreshore.
  2. See
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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