Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[hahrsh] /hɑrʃ/
ungentle and unpleasant in action or effect:
harsh treatment; harsh manners.
grim or unpleasantly severe; stern; cruel; austere:
a harsh life; a harsh master.
physically uncomfortable; desolate; stark:
a harsh land.
unpleasant to the ear; grating; strident:
a harsh voice; a harsh sound.
unpleasantly rough, ragged, or coarse to the touch:
a harsh surface.
jarring to the eye or to the esthetic sense; unrefined; crude; raw:
harsh colors.
unpleasant to the taste or sense of smell; bitter; acrid:
a harsh flavor; a harsh odor.
Origin of harsh
1250-1300; Middle English harsk; cognate with German harsch, Danish harsk rancid
Related forms
harshly, adverb
harshness, noun
overharsh, adjective
overharshly, adverb
overharshness, noun
unharsh, adjective
unharshly, adverb
2. brusque, hard, unfeeling, unkind, brutal, acrimonious, bad-tempered. See stern1 . 3. rough. 4. discordant, dissonant, unharmonious. 6. unesthetic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for harsher
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Not essentially different, but harsher, was Thaddeus Stevens's plans for treating the South as a conquered foreign province.

    The Sequel of Appomattox Walter Lynwood Fleming
  • And here his voice grew louder and harsher, and with a ring of defiance in it.

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • In short, what may be called all the harsher duties of a large landed proprietor devolved by custom and choice upon Mr Stirn.

  • Calavius was furious and paused, as if to give orders for harsher repression.

    The Lion's Brood Duffield Osborne
  • Imbittered by that knowledge, my next harsh word may be harsher still.

    The Law and the Lady Wilkie Collins
British Dictionary definitions for harsher


rough or grating to the senses
stern, severe, or cruel
(transitive) (slang) to cause (a state of elation) to be diminished or ended (esp in the phrases harsh someone's mellow and harsh someone's buzz)
Derived Forms
harshly, adverb
harshness, noun
Word Origin
C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Middle Low German harsch, Norwegian harsk rancid
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for harsher



originally of texture, "hairy," 1530s, probably from harske "rough, coarse, sour" (c.1300), a northern word of Scandinavian origin (cf. Danish and Norwegian harsk "rancid, rank"), related to Middle Low German harsch "rough, raw," German harst "a rake;" perhaps from PIE root *kars- "to scrape, scratch, rub, card" (cf. Lithuanian karsiu "to comb," Old Church Slavonic krasta, Russian korosta "to itch," Latin carduus "thistle," Sanskrit kasati "rubs, scratches"). Meaning "offensive to feelings" is from 1570s; "disagreeable, rude" from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for harsher



To nag and complain; nudge (1990s+ Teenagers)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for harsher

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for harsher