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hard - definition and synonyms

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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

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adjective     hard pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    stiff, firm, and not easy to bend or break

    The plastic was chosen because it is very hard and durable.

  2. 2
    difficult to do

    Some of the questions were very hard.

    find something hard:

    I found the English exam quite hard.

    hard for someone to do something:

    It is hard for young people to get jobs in this area.

    hard to do something:

    It’s hard to explain why I love this place so much.

    hard to believe:

    I find it hard to believe that we’re leaving England for good.

  3. 3
    unpleasant and full of problems

    My grandmother had a very hard life.

    The family has had a hard time recently.

    hard on:

    It’s very hard on parents when their children are being bullied at school.

  4. 4
    strong and not easily frightened

    He likes to pretend he’s hard, but he’s really soft underneath.

  5. 5
    unkind, or cruel

    She was deeply hurt by his hard words.

    hard on:

    Don’t be too hard on her – she was only trying to help.

  6. 8
    a hard winter is a very cold winter
  7. 9
    [only before noun] hard facts are certain and can be proved

    We need some hard evidence to support our claim.

  8. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    fall on hard times to experience great difficulties

    The region saw a boom in the 1950s to 1970s but fell on hard times in the 1980s.

    Submitted by Boris Marchenko from Russian Federation on 17/05/2016
  9. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    have a hard time doing something to experience lots of difficulties doing something

    He had a hard time launching his new business project.

    Submitted by Boris Marchenko from Russian Federation on 20/10/2016
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