From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishhardhard1 /hɑːd $ hɑːrd/ ●●● S1 W1 adjective (comparative harder, superlative hardest) 1 firm to touchHARD firm, stiff, and difficult to press down, break, or cut opp soft a hard wooden chair the hardest substance known to man After months without rain, the ground was too hard to plough.2 difficultDIFFICULT difficult to do or understand syn difficult opp easy This year’s exam was much harder than last year’s. You’ll have to make some hard decisions. They’re a hard team to beat.it is hard to believe/imagine/see/know etc It was hard to see what else we could have done. It’s hard to believe that anyone would say something like that.find it hard to do something I was finding it hard to concentrate. Permanent jobs are hard to come by (=difficult to find or get).be hard for somebody It must be hard for her, bringing up three kids on her own. Telling my parents is going to be the hardest thing about it.have a hard time doing something (=be difficult for someone to do something) You’ll have a hard time proving that. I had a hard time persuading him to accept the offer. Such criticism was hard to take (=difficult to accept).► see thesaurus at difficult3 TIREDwork/effort [usually before noun] using or involving a lot of mental or physical effort To be successful in sport requires hard work and a great deal of determination. After a hard day at work, I just want to come home and put my feet up.a hard day’s work/walking/skiing etc There’s a sauna where you can relax after a hard day’s skiing. Becoming a doctor never interested him. It was too much like hard work (=it would involve too much work).► see thesaurus at tiring4 full of problemsPOORPROBLEM a situation or time that is hard is one in which you have a lot of problems, especially when you do not have enough money She’s had a hard life. Times were hard and they were forced to sell their house. He had clearly fallen on hard times (=did not have much money).5 → be hard on somebody6 → be hard on something7 → do something the hard way8 using forceSTRONG PERSON using a lot of force Jane gave the door a good hard push. She gave him a hard slap.9 → hard evidence/facts/information etc10 unkindUNKINDCRUEL showing no sympathetic or gentle feelings a hard face Her voice was hard and cold. You’re a hard man, John.11 → hard going12 → make hard work of something13 → be hard at it/work14 water hard water contains a lot of minerals, and does not mix easily with soap opp soft15 → hard luck16 → give somebody a hard time17 → have a hard time18 → drive/strike a hard bargain19 → hard feelings20 → take a (long) hard look at something/somebody21 → hard line22 → hard news23 STRONG PERSONnot frightened British English spoken strong, ready to fight, and not afraid of anyone or anything He thinks he’s really hard. Jones was known as soccer’s hard man.24 → (as) hard as nails25 → a hard taskmaster/master26 → a hard winter/frost27 → the hard left/right28 light especially literary hard light is bright and unpleasant syn harsh the hard brilliance of the moonlight29 MDDDRINKDRUGalcohol [only before noun] informal very strong hard liquor I never touch the hard stuff (=strong alcohol). → hard drugs30 → a hard left/right31 SLpronunciation a hard ‘c’ is pronounced /k/ rather than /s/; a hard ‘g’ is pronounced /g/ rather than /dz/ → soft —hardness noun [uncountable] a material that would combine the flexibility of rubber with the hardness of glassTHESAURUShard difficult to press down, break, or cut, and not at all softI fell onto the hard stone floor.The clay gets harder as it dries.firm not completely hard, but not easy to press or bend – used especially when this seems a good thingI like to sleep on a firm mattress.exercises to make your stomach muscles nice and firmThe pears were firm and juicy.stiff difficult to bend and not changing shapea piece of stiff cardboardThe collar of his shirt felt stiff and uncomfortable.solid made of a thick hard material and not hollowa solid oak doorThe floor felt strong and solid beneath her feet.rigid /ˈrɪdʒəd/ having a structure that is made of a material that is difficult or impossible to bendThe tent is supported by a rigid frame.Carry sandwiches in a rigid container.crisp/crispy used about food that is pleasantly hard, so that it makes a noise when you bite it – often used about things that have been cooked in thin slices until they are brownBake the cookies until they are crisp and golden.crispy baconcrunchy food that is crunchy makes a noise when you bite on it – often used about things that are fresh, for example fruit, vegetables, and nutsa crunchy breakfast cereal The carrots were still nice and crunchy.a crunchy saladcrunchy peanut buttertough meat that is tough is too hard and is difficult to cut or eatThe meat was tough and flavourless. rubbery too hard and bending like rubber rather than breaking – used especially about meatThe chicken was all rubbery.COLLOCATIONS CHECKfirm bed/muscles/fruit/vegetables/groundstiff card/cardboard/collar/material/fingers/bodysolid wood/steel/concrete/floor/wallrigid frame/structurecrisp/crispy apple/bacon/toast/potato/lettucecrunchy cereal/vegetables/nuts/snacktough meatrubbery meat
Examples from the Corpushard• I thought the exam was really hard.• Keep the cake in a tin, to prevent it from going hard.• I've cooked the potatoes for half an hour but they still seem a bit hard.• As people age, their skin becomes harder and less supple.• I wish this chair wasn't so hard and uncomfortable.• A tiled floor in the kitchen is as hard as stone, and very cold beneath your feet.• a piece of hard candy• Some hard cheeses are permitted to age.• Chemistry was one of the hardest classes I've ever taken.• Let your mother sit down. She's had a hard day at work.• A hard disk is usually built into the computer and is a slightly different form of storage.• It was hard for me to understand her - her accent was very strong.• Toilet roll, used, in small smelly brown-streaked sheets - both the hard kind and the soft kind.• But the Clinton administration is still taking a hard line.• He's a hard man to work for, but he's fair.• a hard mattress• Give the door a hard push.• Diamond is probably the hardest substance known to man.• It's not my fault, John. Don't give me a hard time.• I find it hard to believe that he didn't know the gun was loaded.• It's hard to see the stage from here.• The slickest feature of all is the fully poweroperated hard top.• It was a long hard walk back to the nearest town.• Instead it meant hard work with a capital H for all the fifteen or so staff.• Mowing the lawn is hard work.• Yes, exhibitions are hard work!hard to take• We lost the game in the last few seconds; that was really hard to take.• This was just as well, because as a native he would have been a bit hard to take.• When she starts talking about how smart her kids are, it's a little hard to take.• So much dislike, when she loved him so much - it was hard to take.• That got a bit hard to take.• The death or incapacitating illness of a loved one is always hard to take.• The picture of Communist bosses turning into rich capitalists is hard to take.• The losses were hard to take, but the gains were great also.• Find it hard to take compliments?• Life was marching up such a strange road that it was sometimes hard to take it all in.too much like hard work• It was all too much like hard work.fallen on hard times• At 21 she is set for stardom, but she still finds time for people who have fallen on hard times.• Interestingly, though, the bottom 10 includes many household names fallen on hard times.• Was old Bones the equine equivalent of Manchester United then, fallen on hard times?• Worse, because of Jack the father has fallen on hard times and must meet all kinds of debts.• Now these in their turn have fallen on hard times at a time of agricultural rather than industrial recession.• The Cambridge University Automobile Club had clearly fallen on hard times, too.good hard• He had built a big new house in the valley, beside the best clay for making good hard bricks.• There are a number of good hard disk manufacturers around.hard man• But Cooper is more than a hard man.• They gave me a bad time - they'd all been in since they were seventeen and they were hard men.• It was all pleasantly noisy without any air of aggression, there were no yobs or self-styled hard men among the customers.• Wimbledon's hard man ran across the pitch to point threateningly at Middlesbrough assistant manager John Pickering.• He had to be diplomat, psychologist, hard man, soft man, entrepreneur, spiritual leader, general and peacekeeper.• Secondly, the band launched heavy metal hard man Ted Nugent, one of rock's more notable characters.• He's the hardest man to get out, that's for sure.• Dan Liszka is a hard man to track down.the hard stuff• It's all right if I drink a beer, but the doctor said to stay away from the hard stuff.• I have come to believe that the soft occult more often than not leads to the hard stuff.• That's what my father used to say whenever he took a glass of the hard stuff.• There were about a dozen writers in hospitality, most of them busy knocking back the hard stuff.• They'd imagine me prostituting myself, or on the hard stuff.• I'd ease up on the hard stuff if I were you.• The problem is that rock-climbers do all the hardest stuff in this game.• Harold thinks it would help him relax in the evening and not hit the hard stuff so hard.