hard ball

hardball

[hahrd-bawl]
noun
1.
baseball, as distinguished from softball.
adjective
2.
tough or ruthless: He wasn't ready for the hardball politics of Washington.
3.
outspoken, challenging, or difficult: Reporters asked the president some hardball questions.
Idioms
4.
play hardball, to act or work aggressively, competitively, or ruthlessly, as in business or politics.

Origin:
1825–35; hard + ball1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hardball (ˈhɑːdbɔːl)
 
n
1.  (US), (Canadian) baseball as distinct from softball
2.  informal chiefly (US), (Canadian) play hardball to act in a ruthless or uncompromising way

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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