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tough

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adjective American English pronunciation: tough /tʌf/ 
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adjectivetough
comparativetougher
superlativetoughest
  1. 1
    difficult

    He's having a really tough time at the moment.

    It was a tough decision to move overseas.

    Many companies are facing tough competition.

  2. 2
    strong and able to deal with difficult situations or pain

    I think she'll be all right because she's very tough.

  3. 4
    very strict and severe

    The report contained tough criticism of the company's management style.

    She's campaigning for tough new laws on industrial pollution.

    be tough on:

    The new mayor promises to be tough on crime.

    take a tough stance/stand:

    We must take a tough stance against terrorism.

    get tough with (=deal with in a severe way):

    She promised to get tough with speeders.

  4. 6
    difficult to break or damage

    The tool is made from a very tough and resilient steel.

derived words

toughly

adverb

a toughly worded message

toughness

noun [uncountable]

An athlete needs to show both physical and mental toughness.

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