Definition of tough in English:
- He knows just how to make tight leggings, rough, tough leathers and plush cashmere absolutely dazzling.
- If you have ever polished some hard, tough material like metal or marble you know how much energy it takes.
- The ground began shacking with such great force, not even the lifeless roots obscured in the grey soil were tough enough to hold up their dying masters.
- I've been grazing among the blogs and chewing that question like a tough mouthful of cud.
- Hominids had teeth that resembled those of pigs and bears, which can chew tough, fiber-rich food.
- Most of them are sipping coffee, or reading newspapers, or chewing morosely on tough bread.
- Happily, Russian skaters tend to be tough as old boots.
- It then turned out that my grandad is as tough as old boots, and probably just wanted to take attention away from me getting a job.
- Finally there is the underlying truth that Carol is as tough as old boots, and frankly, as sexy as a Sherman tank.
- Brees is smart, tough and had the confidence of his teammates after leading them to 20 wins over the last two years.
- In any case, with Beeching reluctant to play the game and with Marples determined to be tough, it was difficult to predict which lines would be spared in advance.
- I saw the older men trying to demonstrate they were still tough and able.
- I think acting is tough, as it requires great mental discipline.
- These questions require us to make tough decisions about how we distribute our finite resources.
- Also: finishing a tough job requires that you draw your hand theatrically across your brow.
- Sereana Naikelekele says the situation is tough on all five kids.
- It is tough on Maloney that the arduous assignment of a UEFA Cup tie at home to VfB Stuttgart is being billed as if it were the equivalent of finishing school for the player.
- I think it's going to be tough on the mother when that trial comes.
- As it developed, the Court took a tough approach to applying the law, and did not permit many restrictive agreements.
- The Government was positioning itself nicely to run a campaign based on its tough approach to dealing with asylum seekers.
- But Blunkett's tough approach to social reform could only be argued by a minister free of personal distractions.
- While all agree he is tough and prone to losing his temper, there is almost universal respect for his abilities as a soldier.
- Galvin's characters jump off the page at you whether he is describing a tough young cop like Fox or ‘Beano’ his snout.
- Outside the town centre pubs, tough young men and women in vests, jeans and tattoos were giving each other the thumbs up and cackling with glee.
- Yet, it's a vehicle for tough people venturing into tough areas.
- Brought up the hard way, the Garda believed that for one to become so prominent in such a tough area, there was no doubting Mr Kelly was a highly intelligent man.
- So it's a very, very tough area that the marines are facing here.
nouninformal Back to top
- One disaster follows another on this, the worst day of Bruce Nolan's life, as he's fired from the station, beaten up by a gang of toughs, who then vandalise his car.
- These Christian bikers come from all walks of life, though many of them are ex-motorcycle gang toughs who've been born again.
- A misfit gang of working-class street toughs from Queens, the Ramones were ruled with an iron fist by guitarist Johnny.
verb(tough it out) informal Back to top
a tough nut to crack
- see nut.
tough shit (or titty)
- vulgar slang Used to express a lack of sympathy with someone.Example sentences
- Well, tough titty, you should have thought about that before, as Mummy BW is fond of saying.
- Well, tough titty - it's not easy sitting on 100 while everyone else is doing at least 110, but I like not getting speeding tickets.
- Sorry Johnny, front up with the fee, mate, or you're out on your ear - no matter the year's work you have invested, and no matter that you have virtually no job prospects without your qualifications: if you do not have the cash, tough titty!
- Example sentences
- This toughish walk takes 4-5 hours, but leads through spectacular scenery.
- Ours was toughish and not much on taste either.
- The buffet runs a fish-centric gamut from savory casseroles and coconut-milk stews to toughish scallops and decent sushi.
- Example sentences
- These acts are illegal and have to be pursued vigorously and toughly, without any exceptions.
- However, Britain and the US may struggle to persuade the other three permanent members of the Security Council - France, Russia and China - not to use their vetoes to block such a toughly worded resolution.
- As I have indicated, there is widespread ignorance of penal affairs, and talking toughly about crime and its punishment is a good way to appeal, through that ignorance, to the illiberal and the reactionary.
- Example sentences
- They had the determination, mental toughness and abundant stamina to make the grade.
- They have earned a reputation for their toughness and determination.
- That means consistency from game to game, and toughness and fitness throughout a tournament.
An Old English word related to taut (Middle English) the early spelling of which was tought. As a noun, meaning ‘a rough and violent man or youth’, it dates from the 1860s, in the USA. If you are as tough as old boots you are very sturdy or resilient. The earliest version of the phrase was as tough as leather. Before he became the British prime minister or even party leader, Tony Blair made a speech at the Labour Party Conference in September 1993, when he was Shadow Home Secretary. The speech brought him to public attention and included the words: ‘Labour is the party of law and order in Britain today. Tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime’.
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