Meaning of HARD in English

HARD

(~er, ~est)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

1.

Something that is ~ is very firm and stiff to touch and is not easily bent, cut, or broken.

He shuffled his feet on the ~ wooden floor...

Something cold and ~ pressed into the back of his neck.

? soft

ADJ

~ness

He felt the ~ness of the iron railing press against his spine.

N-UNCOUNT: oft with poss

2.

Something that is ~ is very difficult to do or deal with.

It’s ~ to tell what effect this latest move will have...

Our traveller’s behaviour on the journey is ~ to explain...

That’s a very ~ question.

= difficult

? easy

ADJ: oft it v-link ADJ to-inf, ADJ to-inf

3.

If you work ~ doing something, you are very active or work intensely, with a lot of effort.

I’ll work ~. I don’t want to let him down...

Am I trying too ~?

ADV: ADV after v

Hard is also an adjective.

I admired him as a true scientist and ~ worker.

ADJ: ADJ n

4.

Hard work involves a lot of activity and effort.

Coping with three babies is very ~ work...

Their work is ~ and unglamorous, and most people would find it boring.

ADJ

5.

If you look, listen, or think ~, you do it carefully and with a great deal of attention.

You had to listen ~ to hear the old man breathe...

ADV: ADV after v

Hard is also an adjective.

It might be worth taking a long ~ look at your frustrations and resentments.

ADJ: usu ADJ n

6.

If you strike or take hold of something ~, you strike or take hold of it with a lot of force.

I kicked a dustbin very ~ and broke my toe.

ADV: ADV after v

Hard is also an adjective.

He gave her a ~ push which toppled her backwards into an armchair.

ADJ: ADJ n

7.

You can use ~ to indicate that something happens intensely and for a long time.

I’ve never seen Terry laugh so ~...

It was snowing ~ by then.

ADV: ADV after v

8.

If a person or their expression is ~, they show no kindness or sympathy.

His father was a ~ man...

? gentle

ADJ: usu ADJ n

9.

If you are ~ on someone, you treat them severely or unkindly.

Don’t be so ~ on him.

? soft

ADJ: v-link ADJ on n

Hard is also an adverb.

He said the security forces would continue to crack down ~ on the protestors.

ADV: ADV after v

10.

If you say that something is ~ on a person or thing, you mean it affects them in a way that is likely to cause them damage or suffering.

The grey light was ~ on the eyes...

These last four years have been ~ on them.

ADJ: v-link ADJ on n

11.

If you have a ~ life or a ~ period of time, your life or that period is difficult and unpleasant for you.

It had been a ~ life for her...

Those were ~ times.

= tough

ADJ

~ness

In America, people don’t normally admit to the ~ness of life.

N-UNCOUNT: N of n

12.

Hard evidence or facts are definitely true and do not need to be questioned.

There are probably fewer ~ facts about the life of Henry Purcell than that of any other great composer since the Renaissance.

ADJ: ADJ n

13.

Hard water contains a lot of calcium compounds that stop soap making bubbles and sometimes appear as a deposit in kettles and baths.

? soft

ADJ

14.

Hard drugs are very strong illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine.

? soft

ADJ: ADJ n

15.

If you feel ~ done by, you feel that you have not been treated fairly. (BRIT)

The hall porter was feeling ~ done by at having to extend his shift.

PHRASE: v-link PHR

16.

If you say that something is ~ going, you mean it is difficult and requires a lot of effort.

The talks had been ~ going at the start.

PHRASE: usu v-link PHR

17.

To be ~ hit by something means to be affected very severely by it.

California’s been particularly ~ hit by the recession.

PHRASE: usu v-link PHR

18.

If someone plays ~ to get, they pretend not to be interested in another person or in what someone is trying to persuade them to do.

I wanted her and she was playing ~ to get.

PHRASE: V inflects

19.

If someone is ~ put to do something or, in British English if they are ~ pushed to do something, they have great difficulty doing it.

Mr Morton is undoubtedly cleverer than Mr Kirkby, but he will be ~ put to match his popularity.

PHRASE: usu v-link PHR to-inf

20.

If you take something ~, you are very upset or depressed by it.

Maybe I just took it too ~.

PHRASE: V inflects

Collins COBUILD.      Толковый словарь английского языка для изучающих язык Коллинз COBUILD (международная база данных языков Бирмингемского университета) .