from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Resistant to pressure; not readily penetrated; firm or solid.
  • adjective Well protected from an attack, as by aerial bombardment.
  • adjective Requiring great effort or endurance.
  • adjective Performed with or marked by great diligence or energy.
  • adjective Difficult to resolve, accomplish, or finish.
  • adjective Difficult to understand or impart.
  • adjective Proceeding or performing with force, vigor, or persistence; assiduous.
  • adjective Intense in force or degree.
  • adjective Inclement or severe.
  • adjective Stern, strict, or demanding.
  • adjective Lacking compassion or sympathy; callous.
  • adjective Difficult to endure; causing hardship or suffering.
  • adjective Oppressive or unjust in nature or effect.
  • adjective Harsh or severe in effect or intention.
  • adjective Marked by stubborn refusal to compromise or yield; uncompromising.
  • adjective Bitter or resentful.
  • adjective Showing disapproval, bitterness, or resentment.
  • adjective Causing damage or premature wear.
  • adjective Bad; adverse.
  • adjective Real and unassailable.
  • adjective Definite; firm.
  • adjective Free from illusion or sentimentality; practical or realistic.
  • adjective Using or based on data that are readily quantified or verified.
  • adjective Marked by sharp delineation or contrast.
  • adjective Lacking in shade; undiminished.
  • adjective Hardcore.
  • adjective Being a turn in a specific direction at an angle more acute than other possible routes.
  • adjective Metallic, as opposed to paper. Used of currency.
  • adjective Backed by bullion rather than by credit. Used of currency.
  • adjective High and stable. Used of prices.
  • adjective Durable; lasting.
  • adjective Written or printed rather than stored in electronic media.
  • adjective Erect; tumid. Used of a penis.
  • adjective Having high alcoholic content; intoxicating.
  • adjective Rendered alcoholic by fermentation; fermented.
  • adjective Containing dissolved salts that interfere with the lathering action of soap. Used of water.
  • adjective Linguistics Velar, as in c in cake or g in log, as opposed to palatal or soft.
  • adjective Physics Of relatively high energy; penetrating.
  • adjective High in gluten content.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English heard; see kar- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English heard ("hard")


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  • The pressure squeezes and pulls at my chest so hard, so hard… so very hard, it is like you can feel the muscle fibers tearing and popping as my heart races and slows erratically.

    admit-it Diary Entry admit-it 2008

  • 'Well, as it is your graduation from kindergarten, and next year you will be in hard school ... '~-hard school was what Shana and Sylvia called it because they had homework - "you will probably not want to hear my little story ever again."

    Briar Rose Yolen, Jane 1991

  • The fact is, _I work hard and I play hard_, and I believe each is equally necessary for good health and real happiness.

    The Idler Magazine, Volume III, March 1893 An Illustrated Monthly Various

  • 'These Christians are hard -- _hard_!' thought Eleanor sharply, closing her tired lids.

    Eleanor Humphry Ward 1885

  • My God! Effie, it is a hard world -- it is hard, _hard_ to keep straight in it.

    A Girl in Ten Thousand L. T. Meade 1884

  • So near was the stranger, that we plainly heard the officer of the deck call out to his own quarter-master to "port, hard a-port -- _hard_ a-port, and be d---- d to you!"

    Ned Myers or, a Life Before the Mast James Fenimore Cooper 1820

  • _For he, hard_ Head (_and_ hard, _sith like a_ Whet-stone) _It gives_ Wits _edge, and draws them too like_ Jet-stone) _Is_ Caput Mundi _for a world of School-tricks,

    The Lives of the Most Famous English Poets (1687) William Winstanley

  • Schulz says that the term hard landing may depend on how you define it. News Kenneth Rapoza 2011

  • I am doing that, but to be honest, I find the label hard SF rather intimidating, yet I feel that's what I've written.

    mikandra: a thought about Science Fiction mikandra 2010

  • She rubbed the goose bumps on her arms with both hands, her expression hard to read

    Black Magic Cherry Adair 2010


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  • HARD: Employed, as “I hard him to do the job.” Also a man’s name, as “Mah wife’s a cousin of Hard Hughes.”

    July 2, 2012