Denotation vs. Connotation

hard case

a rough, hard-bitten person.
Origin of hard case
1830-40, Americanism


[hahrd-keys] /ˈhɑrdˌkeɪs/
rough and hard-bitten:
hard-case juvenile delinquents.
1915-20 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hard case
Historical Examples
  • We must make the public acquainted with a hard case of ours.

  • By the Rock of Cashel, it 'ud be a hard case av the priest was to want.

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
  • Undoubtedly high rates were sometimes paid to get a very "hard case" out of purgatory.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • But is it not a hard case, Valerie, when you cannot respect your parents?

    Valerie Frederick Marryat
  • This is a hard case, if you like; you have every reason to be thankful.

  • It was certainly a hard case, and the more she considered it the less she liked it.

    Susan Amy Walton
  • Some of the alleys were tough and contained cheap lodging-houses wherein dwelt many a hard case and criminal.

  • It is a hard case, that's a fact, and I don't see that anything can be done about it.

    George at the Fort Harry Castlemon
  • He thinks it a hard case, and begs the King to let the debt be paid in full, principal and five years of interest.

  • hard case to lose our boat and our bread, sir,” said Tom touching his hat.

    Jacob Faithful Captain Frederick Marryat
Slang definitions & phrases for hard case

hard case

noun phrase

A rough and dangerous person; tough guy: Most of the hardcases knew their rights better than the cops (1836+)

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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