Definitions

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

  • n. Boldness and daring.
  • n. Impudence or insolence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Unyielding boldness and daring; firmness in doing something that exposes one to difficulty, danger, or calumnity; intrepidness.
  • n. Excessive boldness; foolish daring; offensive assurance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Boldness, united with firmness and constancy of mind; bravery; intrepidity; also, audaciousness; impudence.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Unyielding boldness; firmness in doing something that exposes to difficulty, danger, or contumely; intrepidity; also, and commonly, too great boldness; foolish daring; offensive assurance.
  • n. Physical power of endurance; toughness.
  • n. Synonyms Courage, resolution, pluck, stoutness, fortitude; audacity, effrontery, assurance, impudence. The unfavorable meanings of hardihood seem to be prevailing over the good ones, so that there is a tendency to look to other words for the expression of courage and endurance. The issue of this tendency is not yet decided; it is less marked in the case of hardy.

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

  • n. the trait of being willing to undertake things that involve risk or danger

Etymologies

From hardy +‎ -hood. Compare Dutch hardigheid ("hardness, callousness"), German Hartigkeit ("hardness"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • When we consider that he was even then courting Angelina, his hardihood is a little surprising.

    The Grimke Sisters

  • He delighted in every kind of hardihood; and, in his contempt for effeminacy, once said to his mother:

    Montcalm and Wolfe

  • The big tree, with all the seeming of hardihood, promising to stand for centuries to come, had suffered from a hidden decay.

    Chapter VII

  • Careless of his own life and skin, nevertheless David Grief was possessed of no false hardihood.

    THE DEVILS OF FUATINO

  • If that were true the murderer must have dropped some part of his dress, presumably his overcoat, in his flight, and must have had the hardihood to return and to carry it away at the instant when the son was kneeling with his back turned not a dozen paces off.

    Sex Dungeon for Sale!

  • And she will do it, she has the hardihood and the black ingratitude.

    A River So Long

  • "Had we lived, I should have a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman," Scott wrote in his diary, words that have become a touchstone for generations of Brits.

    Polar Exploration for Armchair Travelers

  • “Give them ten guilders for ten minutes more,” said the culprit, who, like most in his situation, mixed with his hardihood a desire of procrastinating his fate, “I tell thee it shall avail thee much.”

    Quentin Durward

  • He could not easily have found an excuse for this, however, and he was unwilling to give the haughty Donnerhugel the least suspicion that he was inferior in hardihood, or in the power of enduring fatigue, to any of the tall mountaineers, whose companion he chanced to be for the present.

    Anne of Geierstein

  • The Landamman seemed about to answer; but Rudolph Donnerhugel, with his characteristic boldness and hardihood, took the task of reply on himself.

    Anne of Geierstein

Comments

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  • Their talk, however, was the talk of sordid buccaneers; it as reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage... --Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)

    March 9, 2011