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  • adjective Alternative form of hard-and-fast.


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  • Meaning rigidly adhered to, without doubt or debate. Originally a nautical term: A ship that was hard and fast was firmly beached on land. The phrase was well-known by the early 19th century and was already used figuratively: "She was laid before the fire, at about a yard distance, and was hard and fast asleep." (The London Times, January 1820.)

    December 11, 2007