Definitions of tough

  1. feeling physical discomfort or pain; " my throat feels bad"; " she felt bad all over"; ( 'tough' is occasionally used colloquially for ` bad' as in" he was feeling tough after a restless night")
  2. a cruel and brutal fellow
  3. violent and lawless; " the more ruffianly element"; " tough street gangs"
  4. very difficult; severely testing stamina or resolution; " a rugged competitive examination"; " the rugged conditions of frontier life"; " the competition was tough"; " it's a tough life"; " it was a tough job"
  5. someone who learned to fight in the streets rather than being formally trained in the sport of boxing
  6. substantially made or constructed; " sturdy steel shelves"; " sturdy canvas"; " a tough all- weather fabric"; " some plastics are as tough as metal"
  7. unfortunate or hard to bear; " had hard luck"; " a tough break"
  8. tough to cut or chew
  9. feeling physical discomfort or pain (` tough' is occasionally used colloquially for ` bad'); " my throat feels bad"; " she felt bad all over"; " he was feeling tough after a restless night"
  10. not given to gentleness or sentimentality; " a tough character"
  11. Having the quality of flexibility without brittleness; yielding to force without breaking; capable of resisting great strain; as, the ligaments of animals are remarkably tough.
  12. Not easily broken; able to endure hardship; firm; strong; as, tough sinews.
  13. Not easily separated; viscous; clammy; tenacious; as, tough phlegm.
  14. Stiff; rigid; not flexible; stubborn; as, a tough bow.
  15. Severe; violent; as, a tough storm.
  16. Colloquially, a rough fellow; a rowdy.
  17. Toughly.
  18. Toughness.
  19. Not easily broken: firm: stiff: sticky: tenacious: able to endure hardship.
  20. Not easily broken; tenacious; strong; able to endure hardship.
  21. Capable of being bent or strained without breaking; tenacious.
  22. Vicious; vulgar.
  23. Admitting of tugging and pulling without fracture or injury; not easily broken or separated; able to endure hardships; tenacious; difficult, as a tough piece of business.

Usage examples for tough

  1. " It was pretty tough," agreed McPhearson. – Christopher and the Clockmakers by Sara Ware Bassett
  2. Thin stringy cattle that gave up meat as tough as leather. – Deadly City by Paul W. Fairman
  3. It's a tough lot- a mighty tough lot. – Free Joe and Other Georgian Sketches by Joel Chandler Harris
  4. He had promised it; he was known for a man of his word; and owing to the morning's interruption it would be a tough job to finish, at the best. – The Delectable Duchy by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  5. " Pretty tough ribs to break, too," remarked the captain, with a look of profound distress. – Jeff Benson, or the Young Coastguardsman by R.M. Ballantyne
  6. Wal, I heerd what a tough place this heah Benton was- so I jest come. – The U.P. Trail by Zane Grey
  7. We've got a tough few days ahead of us but we'll tackle it together. – The Enchanted Canyon by Honoré Willsie Morrow
  8. " Tough luck, all right. – The Hidden Places by Bertrand W. Sinclair
  9. " It would be tough," I said, considering. – The Planet Savers by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  10. " That was pretty tough," I muttered. – The Harbor by Ernest Poole
  11. " Tough luck," a thin voice said near him. – The Lost Warship by Robert Moore Williams
  12. It was Tough McCarty. – The Varmint by Owen Johnson F. R. Gruger
  13. The same day on which he received this letter a customer came into his room about ten o'clock- and he was a tough customer, too. – Tales of the Road by Charles N. Crewdson
  14. You say I have climbed up alone, from being a tough little would- be actress, who lived over a saloon in O'Farrell Street, to this! – The Story Of Julia Page Works of Kathleen Norris, Volume V. by Kathleen Norris
  15. Tough luck, wasn't it? – Red Pepper Burns by Grace S. Richmond
  16. " It would be a tough job to lift it out," Rawlins said. – The Abandoned Room by Wadsworth Camp
  17. You were running with a tough bunch. – The Ridin' Kid from Powder River by Henry Herbert Knibbs
  18. " I'm kind of under weight, but I'm a pretty tough guy, for all. – Ashton-Kirk, Criminologist by John T. McIntyre
  19. Well, of all the tough- looking places I've ever struck, I think this takes the cake! – The Strange Cabin on Catamount Island by Lawrence J. Leslie
  20. We did have rather a tough time in that old boat. – Ralph Granger's Fortunes by William Perry Brown