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

  • adj. Hardheaded.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. guided by practical experience and observation rather than by theory
  • adj. hardheaded

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. facing reality squarely; guided by practical experience and observation rather than theory; tough and pragmatic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In hunting, having little or no sense of smell: said of dogs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. guided by practical experience and observation rather than theory


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The suggestion of a secret life led by the high-profile former sheriff has roiled the suburban Denver county where Sullivan was known as a hard-nosed lawman who served on a national law enforcement task force in the 1990s.

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  • He was known as a hard-nosed officer who was solidly respected by his troops, and he’d handled tough assignments before.

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  • The authors are crusaders for hard-nosed research and evaluation in particular, randomized controlled trials, the social science gold standard of anti-poverty programs to inform an idealized donor, foundation program officer or social investor of the future, namely, the perfectly rational decision-maker.

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  • The softhearted utopian became the hard-nosed defender of the faith.


  • By 1998, the year of the documentary and the year he and Obama schmoozed in Chicago, an Israeli scholar named Justus Reid Weiner had already done two years of hard-nosed research on the excellent adventures of Edward Said.

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  • Experience had not extinguished the last embers of her schoolgirl infatuation with the image of the hard-nosed, good-hearted newspaper reporter.

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  • The Vulcans, who prided themselves on their hard-nosed appreciation of the harsh realities of the national security realm, would go on to preside over the most devastating national security failure in American history.

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  • She owed Epstein—mentor, hard-nosed boss, fellow samurai—more than that.

    Etched in Bone

  • I was particularly impressed by the deeply penitent response of one of the most hard-nosed nuclear advocates, Sir Peregrine Worsthorne.

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  • Those qualities, along with her "hard-nosed, physical play," had earned her the coveted captain's spot, Mr. Grezinsky said.

    High-School Basketball Star Is Slain


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