tough

tough
1 /tVf/ adjective
1 DIFFICULT difficult to do or deal with, and needing a lot of effort and determination: Life as a single mother can be tough and depressing. | a tough decision | The reporters were asking a lot of tough questions.
2 STRONG PEOPLE able to live through difficult or severe conditions: The men who work on the oil rigs are a tough bunch. | as tough as nails/as tough as old boots (=very tough): He's as tough as nails - a good man to have on the mountain rescue team.
3 STRONG THING not easily broken or made weaker: a very tough, hard-wearing cloth
4 DETERMINED very determined or strict: Congress is taking a tough anti-inflation line. | get tough with (=punish or deal with someone in a determined and strict way): It's time to get tough with drunk drivers. | be tough on (=treat someone very strictly): My mother was tougher on my older sister than she was on me. | It's time to get tough on crime. | tough nut/cookie/customer informal (=someone who is very determined to do what they want and not what other people want)
5 FOOD difficult to cut or eat: The meat was tough and hard to chew. | the tough outer leaves of the cabbage
—opposite tender 1
6 angry/not sorry spoken used when you do not have any sympathy with someone: tough!: “I'm getting wet.” “Tough! You should've brought your umbrella.” | She didn't tell us she was coming, so if this screws up her plans that's just tough.
7 tough luck spoken
a) also tough shit taboo used when you do not have any sympathy for someone's problems: Well, that's just their tough luck. It was their mistake.
b) BrE used when you feel sympathy about something bad that has happened to someone: You didn't get the job? Oh, tough luck.
8 VIOLENT PERSON likely to behave violently and having no gentle qualities: tough young thugs looking for trouble
9 VIOLENT AREA a tough part of a town has a lot of crime or violence: tough areas of Chicago
10 UNFORTUNATE unfortunate in a way that seems unfair
(+ on): It's really tough on him - his wife divorces him, then he has all these problems at work.
11 tough love AmE love and strictness at the same time
— toughly adverb — toughness noun (U) 2 noun (C) old-fashioned someone who often behaves in a violent way 3 verb tough it out to manage to stay in a difficult situation by being determined: We toughed it out, knowing the boss would soon be leaving.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • tough´ly — tough «tuhf», adjective, adverb, noun, verb. –adjective. 1. bending without breaking: »Leather is tough; cardboard is not. 2. hard to cut, tear, or chew: »The steak was so tough, I couldn t eat it. 3. stiff; sticky: »tough clay …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tough — Tough, a. [Compar. {Tougher}; superl. {Toughest}.] [OE. tough, AS. t[=o]h, akin to D. taai, LG. taa, tage, tau, OHG. z[=a]hi, G. z[aum]he, and also to AS. getenge near to, close to, oppressive, OS. bitengi.] 1. Having the quality of flexibility… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tough — 高校鉄拳伝タフ/タフ (Koko Tekken den Tough/Tough) Genre action, comédie, arts martiaux, sport Manga : Koko Tekken den Tough Type Seinen Auteur Tetsuya Saruwatari …   Wikipédia en Français

  • tough — [tuf] adj. [ME < OE toh, akin to Ger zäh, tough, viscous, prob. < IE base * denk , to bite > TONGS] 1. strong but pliant; that will bend, twist, etc. without tearing or breaking 2. that will not cut or chew easily [tough steak] 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • Tough — may refer to: * Tough (manga), a Japanese manga series by Tetsuya Saruwatari * Tough (song), by country music artist Craig Morgan * Tough (Kurtis Blow album), a 1982 album by Kurtis Blow * Tough (Wishbone Ash album), a 2008 album by Wishbone Ash… …   Wikipedia

  • tough — 〈[ tʌ̣f] Adj.; umg.〉 hart, streng, tüchtig, selbstsicher, bestimmt ● die Verhandlungen waren sehr tough; ihr Auftreten ist tough [engl., „hart, zäh“] * * * tough [taf ; engl. tough, verw. mit ↑ zäh], taff [jidd. toff < hebr. tôv = gut] <Adj …   Universal-Lexikon

  • tough — tough; tough·en; tough·ie; tough·ish; tough·ly; tough·ness; …   English syllables

  • tough — [adj1] sturdy, strong brawny, cohesive, conditioned, dense, durable, fibrous, firm, fit, flinty, hard, hard as nails*, hard bitten*, hardened, hardy, healthy, indigestible, inflexible, leathery, lusty, mighty, molded, resilient, resistant, rigid …   New thesaurus

  • tough´en|er — tough|en «TUHF uhn», transitive verb. to make tough or tougher: »He toughened his muscles by doing exercises. –v.i. to become tough or tougher: »His muscles finally toughened. –tough´en|er, noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • tough|en — «TUHF uhn», transitive verb. to make tough or tougher: »He toughened his muscles by doing exercises. –v.i. to become tough or tougher: »His muscles finally toughened. –tough´en|er, noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tough —    TOUGH, a parish, in the district of Alford, county of Aberdeen, 5 miles (S. E. by E.) from Alford; containing 762 inhabitants. This place is situated partly in the northern and western portions of the Corrennie range, or Red hill, and partly… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

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