Meaning of HARSH in English

I. ˈhärsh, ˈhȧsh adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: alteration of earlier harsk, from Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian harsk rancid, harsh, Swedish härsk rancid; akin to Middle Low German harsch rough, and probably to Latin carrere to card — more at chard

1. : having a coarse or uneven surface : rough to the touch : shaggy

a small terrier with a harsh dense coat — Dict. of Sports

granite stones harsh with lichen — Nancy Hale

specifically : difficult to manipulate and finish because of too many large particles of aggregate in proportion to the amount of fine particles

harsh mortar

harsh concrete


a. : disagreeable to taste or smell : raw , acrid , irritating

the cognac was harsh — Winifred Bambrick

a very irritating, pungent, harsh smoke — W.W.Garver

b. : disagreeable to the ear : grating , strident , jarring

her harsh voice was full of power and humor — G.W.Brace

music … requires sounds of many contrasting kinds: harsh as well as mellow — Robert Donington

c. : disagreeable to the eye : stark

harsh dull greens and blacks — Roger Fry

a harsh , almost a violent, face — Claudia Cassidy

specifically photography : hard

d. : physically disagreeable : uncomfortable

wild and harsh country, full of hot sand and the cholla cactus — S.H.Adams

harsh north wind — Osbert Sitwell

harsh lives of toil in sweatshops and mines


a. : sharply unpleasant or rigorous : stern

the harsh facts of court delays in our city — S.H.Hofstadter

could be done by a woman as easily as by a man … provided discipline were harsh enough — Lewis Mumford

b. : severe , exacting , cruel

as harsh and unlovable an old tyrant as one could well imagine — Sat. Eve. Post

4. : lacking in aesthetic grace or refinement : crude

a harsh and sometimes unpleasant book, barren of pretty touches — Brendan Gill

Synonyms: see rough

II. adverb

: harshly

with harsh -resounding trumpets' dreadful bray — Shakespeare

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.