from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having a close, firm grain.
  • Unattractive; not amiable or inviting.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Like all digital technologies, the iPhone has yet to achieve the hard-grained, Spartan elegancies of the steely Leatherman.

    Self-Reliance 2008

  • In the hard-grained face of Wegg, and in his stiff knotty figure (he looked like a German wooden toy), there was expressed a politic conciliation, which had no spontaneity in it.

    Our Mutual Friend

  • On the ground were placed, in two rows, sixteen chairs, made of hard-grained cedar.

    Hung Lou Meng

  • By the close of that first day it was clear that the hero of this expedition was going to be Harry Jensen, the cotton picker from South Carolina, for this hard-grained little fellow had a score of ingenious ideas remembered from his boyhood days in the cypress swamps along the Little Pee Dee in his home state.


  • His eyes were still closed and his mouth was open and a mixture of saliva and blood drained out on the hard-grained wood.

    Half of Paradise

  • Besides all this, she has a sort of hard-grained little vein of common sense, against which my fanciful conceptions and poetical notions are apt to hit with just a little sharp grating, if they are not well put.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 76, February, 1864

  • I found the men putting clear boards with hard-grained streaks in them in with the No. 1 clear.

    The Valley of the Giants

  • She was eager to learn much else beyond the hard-grained muses of the square and cube; she was the daughter of a prosperous and boldly experimental physician, whose wife was a champion of women's rights.

    Mrs. Warren's Daughter A Story of the Woman's Movement

  • Her first astonished questions having been met with silence by the honest but hard-grained woman who kept the laundry, Ida had not condescended to any further appeal.

    The Unclassed

  • The hard-grained old pirate-stock Northward has built the land, and is to the front when we are at our epic work.

    One of Our Conquerors — Volume 4


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.