|Origin:||Probably from a Scandinavian language|
harsh conditions are difficult to live in and very uncomfortable [= severe]:
The hostages are being held in harsh conditions.
the harsh Canadian winters
a young girl suddenly exposed to the harsh realities of life
severe, cruel, or unkind
harsh criticism/treatment/punishment etc
His theory met with harsh criticism from colleagues.
the harsh measures taken against the protestors
'She's an idiot!' 'Aren't you being a bit harsh?'
a harsh, authoritarian regime
He had harsh words (=severe criticism) for the Government.
unpleasantly loud and rough [≠ soft]
harsh voice/laugh/tone etc
His voice was harsh and menacing.
unpleasantly bright [≠ soft]:
She stood outside, blinking in the harsh sunlight.
ugly and unpleasant to look at:
the harsh outline of the factories against the sky
too strong and likely to damage the thing you are cleaning:
My skin is quite sensitive and I find some soaps too harsh.
'Shut up,' Boris said harshly.
—harshness noun [uncountable]