Share this entry

Synonyms of tough in English:


  • 1 they had tough leather gloves
    hard-wearing, long-lasting, heavy-duty, well built, made to last
    [Antonyms] soft, fragile, flimsy
  • 2 the hastily prepared steak was tough
    [Antonyms] tender
  • 3 he must have been a tough little lad to have survived it all
    resilient, strong, hardy, gritty, determined, resolute, dogged, stalwart;
    rugged, fit, robust, powerful, red-blooded, doughty;
    hardened, cynical, hard-bitten
    informal hard, (as) tough as old boots
    [Antonyms] weak, sentimental
  • 4 he conceded the need for tough sentencing the police will be told to get tough on car theft
    strict, stern, severe, hard, harsh, firm, hard-hitting, adamant, inflexible, unyielding, unbending, uncompromising, unsentimental, unsympathetic;
    informal hard-nosed, hard-boiled
    North American informal badass
    [Antonyms] soft, light
  • 5 a tough area of London
    rough, rowdy, unruly, disorderly, violent, wild, lawless, lawbreaking, criminal;
    vicious, callous, hardened
  • 6 my father had a tough job underground
    [Antonyms] easy
  • 7 their book raises tough questions for American policy-makers
    difficult, hard, knotty, thorny, baffling, tricky, ticklish, prickly, perplexing, puzzling, mystifying, troublesome, bothersome, irksome, intractable
    [Antonyms] easy
  • 8 the tough way of life of a fisherman
    harsh, hard, austere, rigorous, rugged, spartan, bleak, grim, straitened, forbidding, cruel, savage, hostile, unfriendly, dark, dire, rough, taxing, exacting, disagreeable, unpleasant, awful
    [Antonyms] easy
  • 9 informal they had tough luck when a shot bounced off the crossbar
    unfortunate, unlucky, hard, unpleasant, regrettable, distressing
    informal too bad
    [Antonyms] good, lucky
  • noun

    Back to top  
  • a gang of toughs
    informal hard man, roughneck, yob, yobbo, heavy, bruiser, tough guy, toughie, gorilla, yahoo
    North American informal hood
    Australian/New Zealand informal hoon
  • Definition of tough in:
    Share this entry

    What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

    Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

    Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources