(1)   Not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure
"A difficult task"
"Nesting places on the cliffs are difficult of access"
"Difficult times"
"A difficult child"
"Found himself in a difficult situation"
"Why is it so hard for you to keep a secret?"
(2)   Characterized by toilsome effort to the point of exhaustion; especially physical effort
"Worked their arduous way up the mining valley"
"A grueling campaign"
"Hard labor"
"Heavy work"
"Heavy going"
"Spent many laborious hours on the project"
"Set a punishing pace"
(3)   Dried out
"Hard dry rolls left over from the day before"
(4)   Unfortunate or hard to bear
"Had hard luck"
"A tough break"
(5)   Resisting weight or pressure
(6)   Dispassionate
"Took a hard look"
"A hard bargainer";
(7)   (of speech sounds); produced with the back of the tongue raised toward or touching the velum
"Russian distinguished between hard consonants and palatalized or soft consonants"
(8)   (of light) transmitted directly from a pointed light source
(9)   Being distilled rather than fermented; having a high alcoholic content
"Hard liquor"
(10)   Given to excessive indulgence of bodily appetites especially for intoxicating liquors
"A hard drinker"
(11)   Produced without vibration of the vocal cords
"Unvoiced consonants such as `p' and `k' and `s'"
(12)   Very strong or vigorous
"Strong winds"
"A hard left to the chin"
"A knockout punch"
"A severe blow"


(13)   With effort or force or vigor
"The team played hard"
"Worked hard all day"
"Pressed hard on the lever"
"Hit the ball hard"
"Slammed the door hard"
(14)   To the full extent possible; all the way
"Hard alee"
"The ship went hard astern"
"Swung the wheel hard left"
(15)   Slowly and with difficulty
"Prejudices die hard"
(16)   Causing great damage or hardship
"Industries hit hard by the depression"
"She was severely affected by the bank's failure"
(17)   With firmness
"Held hard to the railing"
(18)   Earnestly or intently
"Thought hard about it"
"Stared hard at the accused"
(19)   With pain or distress or bitterness
"He took the rejection very hard"
(20)   Very near or close in space or time
"It stands hard by the railroad tracks"
"They were hard on his heels"
"A strike followed hard upon the plant's opening"
(21)   Indulging excessively
"He drank heavily"


  1. Resistant to pressure.
  2. Requiring a lot of effort to do or understand
    a hard problem
  3. Demanding a lot of effort to endure.
    a hard life
  4. , severe, harsh, unfriendly, brutal.
  5. Unquestionable.
    hard evidence
  6. Of drink, strong.
  7. Having a comparatively larger or a ninety-degree angle.
    At the intersection, there are two roads going to the left. Take the hard left.
  8. Of water, high in dissolved calcium compounds.
  9. Sexually aroused.
  10. Having muscles that are tightened as a result of intense, regular exercise.
  11. Of a ferromagnetic material, having the capability of being a permanent magnet by being a material with high magnetic coercivity (c.f. soft)


  • (requiring a lot of effort to do or understand) 1988: “Ray found it hard to imagine having accumulated so many mannerisms before the dawn of sex, of the sexual need to please, of the staginess sex encourages or the tightly capped wells of poisoned sexual desire the disappointed must stand guard over.” — An Oracle, Edmund White


  • (resistant to pressure): resistant, solid, stony
  • (requiring a lot of effort to do or understand): confusing, difficult, puzzling, tough, tricky
  • (requiring a lot of effort to endure): difficult, intolerable, tough, unbearable
  • (severe): harsh, hostile, severe, strict, tough, unfriendly
  • (unquestionable): incontrovertible, indubitable, unambiguous, unequivocal, unquestionable
  • (of drink): strong
  • See also Wikisaurus:difficult


  • (resistant to pressure): soft
  • (requiring a lot of effort to do or understand): easy, simple, straightforward, trite
  • (requiring a lot of effort to endure): bearable, easy
  • (severe): agreeable, amiable, approachable, friendly, nice, pleasant
  • (unquestionable): controvertible, doubtful, ambiguous, equivocal, questionable
  • (of drink):
    • (low in alcohol): low-alcohol
    • (non-alcoholic): alcohol-free, soft, non-alcoholic soft


  1. A firm or paved beach or slope convenient for hauling vessels out of the water