tough




The adjective tough is good for describing hard times. If you just got mugged, lost your job, got the flu, and broke your toe, you’re having a really tough week.

Tough means “strong, hard, unbending,” and you can use it to describe many different things, like a tough exam, or a tough piece of beef jerky, or a tough day that you just want to be over. If a judge punishes criminals harshly to set examples, she’s “tough on crime.” We call people toughs if they seem likely to beat you up. Tough things are made to withstand a beating, like the tires on your mountain bike. Pronounce: TUFF.

Definitions of tough
  1. adjective

    substantially made or constructed

    “a
    tough all-weather fabric”
    “some plastics are as
    tough as metal”
    synonyms:
    sturdy

    rugged

    sturdy and strong in constitution or construction; enduring
  2. adjective

    physically toughened

    “the
    tough bottoms of his feet”
    synonyms:
    toughened

    rugged

    sturdy and strong in constitution or construction; enduring
    experienced, experient

    having experience; having knowledge or skill from observation or participation
    strong

    having strength or power greater than average or expected
    callous, calloused, thickened

    having calluses; having skin made tough and thick through wear
    enured, hardened, inured

    made tough by habitual exposure
    weather-beaten

    tanned and coarsened from being outdoors
    see moresee less

    Antonyms:

    tender, untoughened

    physically untoughened
    weak

    wanting in physical strength
    delicate, soft

    easily hurt
    show more antonyms…

  3. adjective

    resistant to cutting or chewing

    Synonyms:

    inedible, uneatable

    not suitable for food
    cartilaginous, gristly, rubbery

    difficult to chew
    chewy

    requiring much chewing
    coriaceous, leathered, leatherlike, leathery

    resembling or made to resemble leather; tough but pliable
    fibrous, sinewy, stringy, unchewable

    (of meat) full of sinews; especially impossible to chew
    fibrous, hempen

    having or resembling fibers especially fibers used in making cordage such as those of jute
    tough-skinned

    having a relatively tough outer covering
    see moresee less

    Antonyms:

    tender

    easy to cut or chew
    comestible, eatable, edible

    suitable for use as food
    chewable, cuttable

    easy to cut or chew
    crisp, crispy, crunchy

    tender and brittle
    flakey, flaky

    made of or easily forming flakes
    tenderised, tenderized

    made tender as by marinating or pounding
    show more antonyms…

  4. adjective

    violent and lawless

    tough street gangs”
    synonyms:
    ruffianly

    violent

    acting with or marked by or resulting from great force or energy or emotional intensity
  5. adjective

    not given to gentleness or sentimentality

    “a
    tough character”
    Synonyms:

    hard

    dispassionate
    insensitive

    deficient in human sensibility; not mentally or morally sensitive
    hard-bitten, hard-boiled, pugnacious

    tough and callous by virtue of experience
    tough-minded, unsentimental

    facing facts or difficulties realistically and with determination
    see moresee less

    Antonyms:

    tender

    given to sympathy or gentleness or sentimentality
    soft

    compassionate and kind; conciliatory
    protective

    showing care
    sentimental

    given to or marked by sentiment or sentimentality
    show more antonyms…

  6. noun

    a cruel and brutal fellow

    synonyms:
    bully, hooligan, roughneck, rowdy, ruffian, yob, yobbo, yobo
    see moresee less

    types:

    show 5 types…
    hide 5 types…
    bullyboy

    a swaggering tough; usually one acting as an agent of a political faction
    muscle, muscleman

    a bully employed as a thug or bodyguard
    skinhead

    a young person who belongs to a British or American group that shave their heads and gather at rock concerts or engage in white supremacist demonstrations
    plug-ugly, tough guy

    someone who bullies weaker people
    Ted, Teddy boy

    a tough youth of 1950’s and 1960’s wearing Edwardian style clothes
    type of:

    aggressor, assailant, assaulter, attacker

    someone who attacks

  7. noun

    an aggressive and violent young criminal

    synonyms:
    goon, hood, hoodlum, punk, strong-armer, thug, toughie
    see moresee less

    types:

    bully

    a hired thug
    type of:

    criminal, crook, felon, malefactor, outlaw

    someone who has committed a crime or has been legally convicted of a crime

  8. noun

    someone who learned to fight in the streets rather than being formally trained in the sport of boxing

    synonyms:
    street fighter
    see moresee less

    type of:

    battler, belligerent, combatant, fighter, scrapper

    someone who fights (or is fighting)

  9. adjective

    very difficult; severely testing stamina or resolution

    “the competition was
    tough
    “it’s a
    tough life”
    “it was a
    tough job”
    synonyms:
    rugged

    difficult, hard

    not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure
  10. adjective

    unfortunate or hard to bear

    “a
    tough break”
    synonyms:
    hard

    bad

    having undesirable or negative qualities
  11. adjective

    making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe

    synonyms:
    baffling, elusive, knotty, problematic, problematical

    difficult, hard

    not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure
  12. adjective

    feeling physical discomfort or pain (`tough’ is occasionally used colloquially for `bad’)

    “he was feeling
    tough after a restless night”
    synonyms:
    bad

    uncomfortable

    providing or experiencing physical discomfort

Word Family