hard and fast

hard-and-fast

[hahrd-n-fast, -fahst]
adjective
strongly binding; not to be set aside or violated: hard-and-fast rules.

Origin:
1865–70

hard-and-fastness, noun


fixed, precise, inflexible, inviolable, rigorous, unambiguous.
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World English Dictionary
hard and fast
 
adj
(hard-and-fast when prenominal) (esp of rules) invariable or strict

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

hard and fast

Defined, fixed, invariable, as in We have hard and fast rules for this procedure. This term originally was applied to a vessel that has come out of water, either by running aground or being put in dry dock, and is therefore unable to move. By the mid-1800s it was being used figuratively.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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