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Meaning of hard-boiled

hard-boiled

Pronunciation: (härd'boild'), [key]
— adj.
  1. (of an egg) boiled in the shell long enough for the yolk and white to solidify.
  2. tough; unsentimental: a hard-boiled vice-squad detective.
  3. marked by a direct, clear-headed approach; realistic: a hard-boiled appraisal of the foreign situation.
  4. (of detective fiction) written in a laconic, dispassionate, often ironic style for a realistic, unsentimental effect.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.