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hard line

an uncompromising or unyielding stand, especially in politics.
Origin of hard line


or hardline

[hahrd-lahyn] /ˈhɑrdˌlaɪn/
adhering rigidly to a dogma, theory, or plan; uncompromising or unyielding:
hard-line union demands.
1960-65, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hard line
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was looking at him with cool questioning in her grey eyes, her lips drawn to a hard line.

    The Imaginary Marriage Henry St. John Cooper
  • Sam's jaw snapped together, and his mouth became a hard line.

    The Huntress Hulbert Footner
  • No hard line can be drawn between necessities and comforts, between comforts and luxuries.

    The Principles of Economics Frank A. Fetter
  • But the girl made no reply, and her beautiful mouth took on a hard line.

    The Gold Bag Carolyn Wells
  • His lips were thin and pallid, making a hard line of his mouth.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
British Dictionary definitions for hard line

hard line

  1. an uncompromising course or policy
  2. hardline. (as modifier): a hardline policy
Derived Forms
hardliner, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hard line



1958, originally in reference to Soviet communist policies, from hard + line (n.) in the political sense. Related: Hard-liner (1963).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hard line

hard line


: the President's hard-line views on abortion

noun phrase

A policy or attitude based on severity and lack of compromise: Take a hard line with them or they'll murder you (1960s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with hard line

hard line

A firm, uncompromising policy or position. For example, The President was taking a hard line on the budget. [ c. 1960 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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