From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishgive somebody a hard timegive somebody a hard timeinformala)to treat someone badly or cause problems for themGiving you a hard time, is she?They reached the border where officials gave them a hard time.b)CRITICIZEto criticize someone a lotHostile critics have given Hartman a hard time. →hard
Examples from the Corpus
give somebody a hard time• Tom gave him a hard time.• She left the company because her boss was giving her a really hard time.• The laughter had stopped a while ago and, ever since, Lydia's imagination had been giving her a hard time.• My mothergave me a really hard time about Freddy. She couldn't stand him.• The crewgave him a hard time, and even the cast was cautious about him.• Her boss, Detective Hineline, is always giving her a hard time and she never gets really mad at him.• When I first came here everyone gave me a really hard time, because I was the first woman to run a department.• Watson had been given a hard time from the Wednesdaycrowd before those goals but is now hoping the tide has turned.• Maybe Modigliani gave them a hard time, I don't know.• Stop giving me such a hard time. I'm doing my best.• If you wonderwhy people give you a hard time, it's because you write shit like this.• Yet Wakefield gave them a hard time throughout.