follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

tough

[tuhf] /tʌf/
adjective, tougher, toughest.
1.
strong and durable; not easily broken or cut.
2.
not brittle or tender.
3.
difficult to masticate, as food:
a tough steak.
4.
of viscous consistency, as liquid or semiliquid matter:
tough molasses.
5.
capable of great endurance; sturdy; hardy:
tough troops.
6.
not easily influenced, as a person; unyielding; stubborn:
a tough man to work for.
7.
hardened; incorrigible:
a tough criminal.
8.
difficult to perform, accomplish, or deal with; hard, trying, or troublesome:
a tough problem.
9.
hard to bear or endure (often used ironically):
tough luck.
10.
vigorous; severe; violent:
a tough struggle.
11.
vicious; rough; rowdyish:
a tough character; a tough neighborhood.
12.
practical, realistic, and lacking in sentimentality; tough-minded.
13.
Slang. remarkably excellent; first-rate; great.
adverb
14.
in a tough manner.
noun
15.
a ruffian; rowdy.
Idioms
16.
hang tough, Slang. hang (def 56).
17.
tough it out, Informal. to endure or resist hardship or adversity.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English (adj.); Old English tōh; compare Dutch taai, German zäh(e)
Related forms
toughly, adverb
toughness, noun
supertough, adjective
untough, adjective
untoughly, adverb
untoughness, noun
Synonyms
1. firm, hard. 5. durable. 6. inflexible.
Antonyms
1. fragile. 5. feeble, weak.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for tough
  • Wobbly grip makes it tough to negotiate tight corners.
  • The resulting composite is strong, tough, and yet elastic.
  • As an attractive and sturdy alternative to hardwood flooring, bamboo is tough to beat.
  • They have extremely strong jaws and wide, flat molars to chew tough vegetation such as tree bark and orchid bulbs.
  • Many of the decisions that reach the president's desk are tough calls, with strong arguments on both sides.
  • Along with hardy evergreen conifers, tough deciduous trees and shrubs form the garden's backbone.
  • The various cartilages are connected to each other and to the bones by a tough fibrous membrane.
  • Or maybe they need enhanced intelligence to extract food embedded in a tough shell or to collect termites hiding in a mound.
  • The larva pierces the spider's tough skin and sucks its blood for sustenance.
  • There have been other tough codes to crack in history.
British Dictionary definitions for tough

tough

/tʌf/
adjective
1.
strong or resilient; durable: a tough material
2.
not tender: he could not eat the tough steak
3.
having a great capacity for endurance; hardy and fit: a tough mountaineer
4.
rough or pugnacious: a tough gangster
5.
resolute or intractable: a tough employer
6.
difficult or troublesome to do or deal with: a tough problem
7.
(informal) unfortunate or unlucky: it's tough on him
noun
8.
a rough, vicious, or pugnacious person
adverb
9.
(informal) violently, aggressively, or intractably: to treat someone tough
10.
(informal) hang tough, to be or appear to be strong or determined
verb
11.
(transitive) (slang) to stand firm, hold out against (a difficulty or difficult situation) (esp in tough it out)
Derived Forms
toughish, adjective
toughly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English tōh; related to Old High German zāhi tough, Old Norse trodden ground in front of a house
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 tough
adj.

Old English toh "difficult to break or chew," from Proto-Germanic *tankhuz (cf. Middle Low German tege, Middle Dutch taey, Dutch taai, Old High German zach, German zäh). See rough for spelling change.

Figurative sense of "strenuous, difficult, hard to beat" is first recorded c.1200; that of "hard to do, trying, laborious" is from 1610s. Verb tough it "endure the experience" is first recorded 1830, American English. Tough guy first recorded 1932. Tough-minded first recorded 1907 in William James. Tough luck first recorded 1912; tough shit is from 1946.

n.

"street ruffian," 1866, American English, from tough (adj.).

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

touchie-feelie

adjective

Having to do with sensitivity training and other such goings-on where people touch and feel each other: They're all part of the touchie-feelie movement/ It's not going to be a touchy-feely thing (1970s+)


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
Idioms and Phrases with tough
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tough

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tough

9
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with tough

Nearby words for tough