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Denotation vs. Connotation

hard knocks

plural noun, Informal.
1.
adversity or hardships.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hard knocks
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You have yet, by dint of hard knocks and buffets, to learn the world.

    Richard Carvel, Complete Winston Churchill
  • That is where the ball is, and there are the keen players to be met, and the glory and the hard knocks to be got.

    Tom Brown at Rugby Thomas Hughes
  • This dislike of hard knocks is a provision of Nature for perpetuating island races.

    Savage Island Basil C. Thomson
  • The minstrel, like the fighters, revels in hard knocks and rough jests.

    The Balladists John Geddie
  • Of course there would be some hard knocks, but he expected that, for he was going to rough it!

    The Gaunt Gray Wolf Dillon Wallace
  • Soldiers deal in hard knocks, and they must expect to get some back in return.

    Charge! George Manville Fenn
  • You can count on us, monsieur, and our comrades aboard would prefer such terms to the hard knocks which you are able to give.

    How Canada was Won F. S. Brereton
  • Circumstance has received some hard knocks from men and women of this type.

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