Meaning of HARD in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ hɑ:(r)d ]

( harder, hardest)

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


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

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

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

≠ soft


• hard‧ness

He felt the hardness of the iron railing press against his spine.

N-UNCOUNT : oft with poss


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

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

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

That’s a very hard question.

= difficult

≠ easy

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


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

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

Am I trying too hard?

ADV : ADV after v

Hard is also an adjective.

I admired him as a true scientist and hard worker.



Hard work involves a lot of activity and effort.

Coping with three babies is very hard work...

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



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

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

ADV : ADV after v

Hard is also an adjective.

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

ADJ : usu ADJ n


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

I kicked a dustbin very hard and broke my toe.

ADV : ADV after v

Hard is also an adjective.

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



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

I’ve never seen Terry laugh so hard...

It was snowing hard by then.

ADV : ADV after v


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

His father was a hard man...

≠ gentle

ADJ : usu ADJ n


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

Don’t be so hard on him.

≠ soft

ADJ : v-link ADJ on n

Hard is also an adverb.

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

ADV : ADV after v


If you say that something is hard 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 hard on the eyes...

These last four years have been hard on them.

ADJ : v-link ADJ on n


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

It had been a hard life for her...

Those were hard times.

= tough


• hard‧ness

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

N-UNCOUNT : N of n


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

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



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

≠ soft



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

≠ soft



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

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

PHRASE : v-link PHR


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

The talks had been hard going at the start.

PHRASE : usu v-link PHR


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

California’s been particularly hard hit by the recession.

PHRASE : usu v-link PHR


If someone plays hard 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 hard to get.

PHRASE : V inflects


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

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

PHRASE : usu v-link PHR to-inf


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

Maybe I just took it too hard.

PHRASE : V inflects

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.