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hardball

[hahrd-bawl] /ˈhɑrdˌbɔl/
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
1825-1835
1825-35; hard + ball1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hardball
  • Playing hardball often works in insurance, but it has drawbacks elsewhere.
  • They did not initiate this game of hardball, they say, but they are happy to play it.
  • His fervent pursuit of hardball education continues to complement his raw gifts.
  • In order to get him to relent, the publisher had to both pay a premium price and play a little hardball.
  • The hardball approach of his defenders is in large part a reflex of this loss of prestige and authority.
  • It seems curious that all the focus has been on the throwing of the bat, and not the throwing of the errant hardball instead.
  • But it's during the commercial break that the real hardball begins.
  • Lewis was sweet and politic, but he could play hardball.
  • There are effective ways to confront the skeptics, but you have to realize these guys are playing hardball.
  • He is seen as a scrappy, tough trader type who knows how to play hardball in the often brutal world of distressed debt.
British Dictionary definitions for hardball

hardball

/ˈhɑːdbɔːl/
noun
1.
(US & Canadian) baseball as distinct from softball
2.
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) play hardball, to act in a ruthless or uncompromising way
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 hardball
n.

1883 as the name of a game, from hard + ball (n.1). The figurative sense of "tough, uncompromising behavior" is from 1973.

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

hardball

modifier

: fields hardball questions in a practice TV interview/ despite his hardball attitude toward sponsors of offensive TV shows

noun

Serious and consequential activity, work, etc; perilous and responsible doings: It's hardball now, it's not games anymore/ It's going to be hard ball. We're talking about physicians losing income

verb

play hardball (1973+)


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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14
16
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