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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

tough

I.adjective
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a difficult/hard/tough decision
▪ In the end I took the difficult decision to retire early.
a formidable/daunting/tough challenge (=a very difficult one)
▪ How to deal with waste is a daunting challenge for the west.
a severe/stiff/heavy/tough/harsh penalty
▪ There were calls for stiffer penalties for killers of police officers.
a strong/tough opponent (=one that is difficult to defeat)
▪ Arizona is a strong opponent, but the Oregon team intend to beat them.
a tough approach (=dealing with something in a severe way)
▪ The council adopted a tough approach to fighting crime.
a tough guy (=a man who is strong and not afraid, especially one who is good at fighting)
▪ He’s trying to prove he’s a tough guy.
a tough/hard battle
▪ He faces a tough battle to prove his innocence.
a tricky/tough question (=one that is difficult to answer)
▪ That’s a really tricky question.
be tough on crime (=punish crime severely )
▪ Politicians want to appear tough on crime.
firm/tough action
▪ We need firm action to deal with the problem.
have a good/religious/tough etc upbringing
▪ He had a rather unsettled upbringing, moving with his father from town to town.
stiff//tough/fierce/intense/keen competition (=strong competition)
▪ There is stiff competition for places at the best universities.
strict/stringent/tough
▪ The regulations surrounding the handling of nuclear waste are very strict.
strict/tough
▪ the country’s strict anti-tobacco laws
stringent/strict/rigorous/tough standards (=high standards that are difficult to reach)
▪ The Marines’ rigorous standards mean that only a small proportion of applicants are successful.
take a tough/firm/hard line on sth
▪ The school takes a very tough line on drugs.
tough restrictions (=strict)
▪ He called for tougher restrictions on contributions to political parties.
tough (=difficult)
▪ At this stage of the competition, every match is tough.
tough (=difficult to chew)
▪ The meat was tough and chewy.
tough/hard
▪ He said he expected the race to be tough.
tough/strict sanctions (=severe)
▪ Due to strict sanctions, the country is unable to import the medicines it needs.
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
how
▪ As well as negotiating from strength, Rank had a realistic perception of just how tough he would have to be.
▪ No whining about how tough it will be to start over, no self-congratulatory odes to her own courage.
▪ Rose has learned how tough that can be.
▪ Just how tough it could be for the independent producer is evident from the history of Minerva Films.
▪ Look at the bottom of the table and you can see how tough it is going to be.
really
▪ You can also buy really tough but heavy steel pegs which you can hammer into very hard ground with a rock.
▪ Two of the nights were really tough.
▪ It's time to get really tough.
▪ It was tough for Steve, really tough for him.
▪ My birthday was really tough because Peter always made a big fuss of it.
▪ The really tough part was to isolate enough allatostatin in the first place.
▪ But it was the longer-range items that were really tough.
▪ Women have it really tough. 9.
so
▪ He was so tough, so unbending and uncompromising, and I don't think he's changed.
▪ And it is easy to see why competition for First Municipal is so tough.
▪ Why did Alice talk so tough to a sick lump?
▪ But because she's so tough, you don't know if there's something wrong with her.
▪ One reason, they made clear, is that members of the Senate Appropriations Committee are not talking so tough this year.
▪ To me, those stepchildren seemed so tough and hard and nothing like you imagine them to be.
▪ I was just bad enough to kill for my country, but not so tough that I would ever offend or disobey.
very
▪ She says the heat made it very tough but it was good fun.
▪ Ya was a good fighter, very tough.
▪ Mr Abbott said he was extremely tired and negotiations were very tough.
▪ She was known to be very tough and a very hard worker.
▪ She's very tough and very sweet at the same time.
▪ It is very, very tough on him mentally.
▪ Paul has written some very tough things in his letter to the church in Rome.
▪ Older birds are often very tough and have an unpleasant aroma; they should be avoided whenever possible.
■ NOUN
action
▪ Police have now warned of tough action against plans to hold any future rave parties.
▪ Law and order, to take an important example, wins few votes except by the threat of tough actions and crackdowns.
▪ He called for tougher action by police on motorists who illegally park in and around existing bus stops.
▪ Ten consumer groups, along with some veterinarians and meat inspectors, are urging even tougher action.
▪ A new lobbying group has been formed to press the Government for tougher action on climate change.
▪ She says tougher action is needed.
▪ We will take tough action against monopolies, mergers and financial raids.
▪ But the authorities seem unable or unwilling to take tough action.
competition
▪ Their profits are weakening thanks to tougher competition, loan write-offs and a rising cost of funds.
▪ As the new version of Navigator goes on sale Friday, Netscape is facing the toughest competition of its young life.
▪ Aircraft manufacturers like Boeing have also been forced by tough competition to offer steep discounts.
▪ Many independent petrol stations are expected to close because of the price war caused by tougher competition.
▪ Yes, the Dallas Cowboys consider Green Bay much tougher competition these days.
cookie
▪ We're tough cookies here, and so are you.
▪ Now, women on television are depicted as tough cookies who need a man like a fish needs a trouser press.
▪ Being a dedicated tough cookie, he has delivered the goods in impressive manner.
▪ In general, the provincial circuit is a far tougher cookie than its metropolitan counterpart.
▪ Mr Kinnock is clearly a tough cookie.
decision
▪ In straitened times, group directors will face tough decisions about allocating resources between divisions.
▪ These were my unofficial board of directors, the people I could reach out to when I had tough decisions to make.
▪ Tapping into that courage demands more than intellectual commitment and tough decision making.
▪ A key election issue where those who run services have to make tough decisions.
▪ In it, Clinton recapped some of his toughest decisions, and important moments in his presidency, good and bad.
▪ Deciding how much money each department will get calls for tough decisions.
▪ Cowher, 34 at the time, was picked in a tough decision.
fight
▪ But it's being treated that way and a tough fight is promised.
▪ Harry Reid, face a tough fight on the Senate floor.
▪ Now he is facing his toughest fight yet - back to fitness after suffering a fractured fibula and damaged ankle ligaments.
▪ If champions are gauged by their ability to win tough fights, Marco Antonio Barrera has quite a future.
▪ Anyway, Unix now faces a much tougher fight for survival against Microsoft Corp - or are we imagining things?
▪ It was a very tough fight.
▪ Both the defenders and opponents of the Constitution girded for a tough fight.
guy
▪ He is a classic modern tough guy as well as being an Old Testament prodigal son.
▪ My boss there was one of the toughest guys I ever hope to meet.
▪ Yet although often seen as a tough guy, Bob Hoskins has tried to avoid typecasting.
▪ Fujimori knows a fellow tough guy when he sees one.
▪ They're just guns for hire: tough guys sent on a job.
▪ This is a rather startling admission from a noted tough guy.
▪ Likes to kid everyone he's the big macho tough guy.
▪ Two young men in their late teens mugged for the camera, adopting the pose of a couple of affable tough guys.
job
▪ Hers is one of the toughest jobs in the show.
▪ Teaching values to the young is always a tough job, and the ultimate responsibility falls on parents.
▪ City analysts and financial advisers said the company would have a tough job convincing people that the deal was workable.
▪ Management is a tough job to do well even under the best circumstances because of the demands and personal commitment required.
▪ Huntsmen know that convincing opponents they are ecologists is a tough job.
▪ Guessing earnings is a tough job.
▪ Jupp Heynckes faces a tough job at a club desperately in need of coherent policies.
▪ He may see that you are a little bit out of control, and then you really have a tough job.
line
▪ The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, took a tough line, saying that he would not tolerate wanton destruction and violence.
▪ Jack is not discouraged by her tough line.
▪ On the other side, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright took a similarly tough line.
▪ Tough line: Langbaurgh Council is to take a tougher line with tenants who harass their neighbours.
▪ Whereas the United States was in favour of taking a tough line, Britain argued that economic aid should not be stopped.
▪ They stressed that it was vital that environmental groups took a very tough line with the industry right at the outset.
▪ If she had taken a tougher line with them at once, they would have known where to stop.
love
▪ In the world of rehabilitating addicts, this is known as showing your child tough love.
▪ It was just a good, tough love story, and that was one of the parts that made it tough.
measure
▪ He promised tougher measures to beat the criminals.
▪ Cresson had originally demanded even tougher measures.
▪ On a recent morning, it was evident that Gavrilova's tough measures had not wiped out drunkenness.
▪ Implementing them means we have to resort to some tough measures in the short and medium term.
▪ United Nations approval for the tough measures is expected next week.
▪ Nevertheless, some LEAs are adopting tough measures.
▪ On Aug. 7 Hashimoto unveiled a series of tough measures which included laws to penalize investors as well as brokers for compensation payments.
▪ The tough measures should not include any increase in taxation, including National Insurance.
nut
▪ Already highly successful in popular music, dance and commercial television, blacks have found the movies a tougher nut to crack.
▪ Beverley was a tougher nut to crack.
▪ West Ham will be a tough nut to crack especially with big Lee in good form at the moment.
▪ Shearer, a tough nut not inclined to whinge, said his ankle was like a pudding.
▪ Tax will be an even tougher nut.
part
▪ The toughest part was selling the $ 150 tickets.
▪ The toughest part of robbing nowadays is to find somebody that has some-thing.
▪ But that saying-whatever-I-wanted-to part, now that was the toughest part of all.
▪ The really tough part was to isolate enough allatostatin in the first place.
penalty
▪ Police fear thieves are turning to car crime because the courts are imposing tougher penalties for burglary and robbery.
▪ He says he would add tougher penalties for non-workers the moment Clinton gave him the necessary leeway.
▪ Councils and other public agencies are threatened with tough penalties if they fail to improve.
▪ It proposes tough penalties for industries which cause water pollution to help reverse the decline.
▪ It argued that these were not soft options but properly applied would be tough penalties which aided the battle to reduce crime.
▪ The ban on sale or display is backed by tough penalties, including a heavy fine and up to three years' imprisonment.
question
▪ This was a tough question for Sullivan.
▪ The appearance is adversarial-tough reporters asking tough questions.
▪ Both sides must confront tough questions.
▪ The young architect acknowledged that it was a tough question, that he faced it on site often.
▪ His eyelids blinked rapidly as he registered the toughest questions.
▪ The Perot crowd here peppered him with tough questions about free trade and wealth, and he rarely stumbled.
restriction
▪ Britain bans cigarette advertising on television, but, with tough restrictions, allows other tobacco advertising.
▪ Many states are devising programs with even tougher restrictions.
▪ The proposal came amid fears that the Ministry of Agriculture might introduce tougher restrictions or even an outright ban.
stance
▪ Their tough stance followed talks at Camp David in which Mr Bush agreed to delay action until the new year.
standard
▪ Fewer than 30 of Britain's 450 designated bathing beaches passed the tougher standard last summer.
▪ Apply slightly tougher standards for employers who hire temporary foreign workers for specialty jobs in the high-tech industry and elsewhere.
talk
▪ Towards the end of September, western governments finally resumed their tough talk.
▪ Wilson promises tough talk with Jiang Sacramento Gov.
▪ Zhu's tough talk on corruption plucked a chord among the delegates.
▪ Pretty tough talk from a guy who liked to wear dresses.
task
▪ It promises to be his toughest task since his comeback two years ago.
▪ This time, Republicans may face a tougher task in the House than in the Senate because of substantial turnover.
▪ It promises to be a tough task.
▪ I believe that doing so is a step in the tough task of getting ready to capitalise on economic recovery.
▪ Voice over People searching for work face a tough task.
▪ Skipper John Best is nevertheless faced with the tough task of ensuring that his crew are the best for the job.
test
▪ All the same, Amstrad seems to be an unnecessarily tough test, even for the redoubtable Mr Potter.
▪ Mr Jakes will face his toughest test yet when he confronts an emergency meeting of the central committee this week.
▪ It was Bates' toughest test in the competition so far which has seen other top seed tumble in the early stages.
▪ Allowing your children's choice-making skills to develop is one of parenthood's toughest tests.
▪ We join the mountain bikers on their toughest test.
▪ We put five brands of cracker through the toughest test of alla children's party at the Abercromby Day Nursery in Toxteth.
time
▪ There can hardly ever have been a tougher time to persuade banks to part with their money.
▪ They say Time Warner, which has been roiled by management changes, will have a tough time digesting Turner.
▪ Paul was having a tough time himself supervising the contouring of the land around the three-tier pool Stephen had eventually commissioned.
▪ Over the years, great players have generally had a tough time making the transition to coaching.
▪ The problem seems to be that many women are having a tough time making their mark higher up the career ladder.
▪ These are tough times right now when it comes to work.
▪ Vegans: Vegetarians who eat neither eggs nor dairy products may have a tough time consuming enough vitamin B-12.
times
▪ It is an unwelcome symptom of very tough times.
▪ Stories about mishaps teach youngsters that families and friends stay together through tough times.
▪ In social terms these were tough times and certainly there seemed to be a new excitement in the movies.
▪ These are tough times right now when it comes to work.
▪ In good times and in tough times?
▪ It unites people, protests wrongs and helps one endure tough times.
▪ Well, I've had tougher times.
▪ We especially love testimonials of people who overcome tough times.
year
▪ Although it would be a tough year for sure, revenue was not dropping anything like as much as the bookings percentage.
▪ Fresh cuts mean that schools, the health service, and bus and rail travellers will face another tough year.
▪ But he said I had a tough year.
▪ Companies are facing another tough year in 1992, Keith Wey, economist, told an association conference in London yesterday.
▪ After a tough year in 1991, the brand is back with a revamped range for 1992.
▪ It is going to be a tougher year than most.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a hard/tough etc act to follow
▪ Clearly Amelia was a hard act to follow.
▪ Colm Toibin's piece will be a hard act to follow but I suspect you are up to it.
▪ I know that she will be a tough act to follow.
▪ It was a hard act to follow, but the poor did what they could to provide respectable funerals for their dead.
▪ John's is, of course, a hard act to follow.
▪ The new model has a tough act to follow.
▪ You've certainly set us a hard act to follow!
a hard/tough nut to crack
▪ Daytime television is a tough nut to crack. New shows have to be good enough to beat the old favorites.
▪ Already highly successful in popular music, dance and commercial television, blacks have found the movies a tougher nut to crack.
▪ Beverley was a tougher nut to crack.
▪ West Ham will be a tough nut to crack especially with big Lee in good form at the moment.
a hard/tough row to hoe
▪ Improving schools with little funding is a tough row to hoe.
▪ They have a hard row to hoe.
a hard/tough sell
as hard/tough as nails
▪ Willie O'Connor is as hard as nails and Liam Simpson takes no prisoners.
awkward/tricky/tough etc customer
▪ A tough customer, a man to be reckoned with.
▪ But he'd take on some one like Glenda Grower, who's a much tougher customer.
▪ But the tough treatment was only for tough customers.
▪ He's overcome some genuinely tough customers, but Gimenez was abject.
▪ He looks a tough customer to deal with.
▪ The next, you're making speeches to the wind. Tricky customers, ordinary people.
bad/hard/tough luck
▪ Can't have that, can we, not on top of all your other hard luck.
▪ He felt that this little piece of bad luck might affect his whole day.
▪ I kept looking into the mirror and hating my bad luck, but there they were.
▪ There were lots of near misses: some great saves from both keepers, and sheer bad luck.
▪ Unfortunately, the gents had bad luck.
▪ You go up there with the wrong attitude and come out with worse luck than you had before.
be a hard/stern/tough taskmaster
▪ If self-employment is any guide, the dejobbed worker is likely to be a stern taskmaster.
▪ She was a hard taskmaster but a considerably fairer one than la Belle Ethel.
▪ True to his word, he schooled her in horsemanship and was a hard taskmaster.
talk tough (on sth)
▪ Cell warrior: Prisoner who talks tough when safely in his cell but who is meek when out of it.
▪ Electioneering, he had talked tough about getting government off the backs of the people.
▪ Politicians enjoy an easy ride by provoking crime fear and talking tough about punishment.
▪ So far the Fed has talked tougher about inflation than it has acted.
▪ This Government talks tough for public consumption but has no stomach for action.
▪ You talk tough but inside you're just like all the rest of us.
▪ You karate the walls, you talk tough to the mirror.
tough/hard nut
▪ Already highly successful in popular music, dance and commercial television, blacks have found the movies a tougher nut to crack.
▪ Back, now, to the hard nuts.
▪ Beverley was a tougher nut to crack.
▪ One glance was all it took to realise this was one hard nut to crack - his features still completely impassive.
▪ Shearer, a tough nut not inclined to whinge, said his ankle was like a pudding.
▪ Tax will be an even tougher nut.
▪ West Ham will be a tough nut to crack especially with big Lee in good form at the moment.
tough/smart cookie
▪ Barney's a tough cookie. He knows how to play politics.
▪ Being a dedicated tough cookie, he has delivered the goods in impressive manner.
▪ In general, the provincial circuit is a far tougher cookie than its metropolitan counterpart.
▪ Monroe herself, of course, was a smart cookie, but she knew enough to play dumb.
▪ Mr Kinnock is clearly a tough cookie.
▪ Now, women on television are depicted as tough cookies who need a man like a fish needs a trouser press.
▪ The Gingerbread Man Summary A fox ate a smart cookie.
▪ Unless Newman is a smart cookie.
▪ We're tough cookies here, and so are you.
when the going gets tough, the tough get going
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ a tough neighborhood
▪ a pair of tough leather boots
▪ Being the new kid at school is always tough.
▪ Geri's a tough lady.
▪ He's a good person to be with if ever you're in a tough situation.
▪ I know she's only a kid, but she's tough.
▪ In games like this it is more important to be mentally tough, than physically fit.
▪ Many of the veteran players had a tough time adjusting to the coach's style.
▪ My grandmother was a tough old lady, who lived through some very hard times.
▪ Normal floor paint might not be tough enough for the garage.
▪ Opposition leaders are demanding tougher laws against drinking and driving.
▪ She's quite tough with her students.
▪ The box is made of tough durable plastic.
▪ The chancellor has got to be tough and keep government spending down.
▪ The chicken was very tough, as though it had not been freshly cooked that day.
▪ The federal government is introducing tough new rules to control immigration.
▪ The governor is trying to show voters that he's able to deal with the toughest issues facing Ohio today.
▪ The investigators asked a lot of tough questions.
▪ The judge asked the lawyers on both sides some very tough questions.
▪ The sailors wore jackets made from tough waterproof cotton.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Archbishop Fisher went so far as to write a very tough letter to the editor in defence of Ramsey.
▪ As the new version of Navigator goes on sale Friday, Netscape is facing the toughest competition of its young life.
▪ His head was probably tougher than a brass doorknob.
▪ In straitened times, group directors will face tough decisions about allocating resources between divisions.
▪ Times were tough and jobs scarce in 1936, and it proved necessary for most young men to land where they could.
▪ Westinghouse last week adopted a poisonpill plan to make any takeover attempt tougher.
II.verb
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a hard/tough etc act to follow
▪ Clearly Amelia was a hard act to follow.
▪ Colm Toibin's piece will be a hard act to follow but I suspect you are up to it.
▪ I know that she will be a tough act to follow.
▪ It was a hard act to follow, but the poor did what they could to provide respectable funerals for their dead.
▪ John's is, of course, a hard act to follow.
▪ The new model has a tough act to follow.
▪ You've certainly set us a hard act to follow!
a hard/tough nut to crack
▪ Daytime television is a tough nut to crack. New shows have to be good enough to beat the old favorites.
▪ Already highly successful in popular music, dance and commercial television, blacks have found the movies a tougher nut to crack.
▪ Beverley was a tougher nut to crack.
▪ West Ham will be a tough nut to crack especially with big Lee in good form at the moment.
a hard/tough row to hoe
▪ Improving schools with little funding is a tough row to hoe.
▪ They have a hard row to hoe.
a hard/tough sell
as hard/tough as nails
▪ Willie O'Connor is as hard as nails and Liam Simpson takes no prisoners.
awkward/tricky/tough etc customer
▪ A tough customer, a man to be reckoned with.
▪ But he'd take on some one like Glenda Grower, who's a much tougher customer.
▪ But the tough treatment was only for tough customers.
▪ He's overcome some genuinely tough customers, but Gimenez was abject.
▪ He looks a tough customer to deal with.
▪ The next, you're making speeches to the wind. Tricky customers, ordinary people.
bad/hard/tough luck
▪ Can't have that, can we, not on top of all your other hard luck.
▪ He felt that this little piece of bad luck might affect his whole day.
▪ I kept looking into the mirror and hating my bad luck, but there they were.
▪ There were lots of near misses: some great saves from both keepers, and sheer bad luck.
▪ Unfortunately, the gents had bad luck.
▪ You go up there with the wrong attitude and come out with worse luck than you had before.
be a hard/stern/tough taskmaster
▪ If self-employment is any guide, the dejobbed worker is likely to be a stern taskmaster.
▪ She was a hard taskmaster but a considerably fairer one than la Belle Ethel.
▪ True to his word, he schooled her in horsemanship and was a hard taskmaster.
sweet-spirited/tough-spirited/rebellious-spirited etc
tough/hard nut
▪ Already highly successful in popular music, dance and commercial television, blacks have found the movies a tougher nut to crack.
▪ Back, now, to the hard nuts.
▪ Beverley was a tougher nut to crack.
▪ One glance was all it took to realise this was one hard nut to crack - his features still completely impassive.
▪ Shearer, a tough nut not inclined to whinge, said his ankle was like a pudding.
▪ Tax will be an even tougher nut.
▪ West Ham will be a tough nut to crack especially with big Lee in good form at the moment.
tough/smart cookie
▪ Barney's a tough cookie. He knows how to play politics.
▪ Being a dedicated tough cookie, he has delivered the goods in impressive manner.
▪ In general, the provincial circuit is a far tougher cookie than its metropolitan counterpart.
▪ Monroe herself, of course, was a smart cookie, but she knew enough to play dumb.
▪ Mr Kinnock is clearly a tough cookie.
▪ Now, women on television are depicted as tough cookies who need a man like a fish needs a trouser press.
▪ The Gingerbread Man Summary A fox ate a smart cookie.
▪ Unless Newman is a smart cookie.
▪ We're tough cookies here, and so are you.
when the going gets tough, the tough get going
III.noun
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a hard/tough etc act to follow
▪ Clearly Amelia was a hard act to follow.
▪ Colm Toibin's piece will be a hard act to follow but I suspect you are up to it.
▪ I know that she will be a tough act to follow.
▪ It was a hard act to follow, but the poor did what they could to provide respectable funerals for their dead.
▪ John's is, of course, a hard act to follow.
▪ The new model has a tough act to follow.
▪ You've certainly set us a hard act to follow!
a hard/tough nut to crack
▪ Daytime television is a tough nut to crack. New shows have to be good enough to beat the old favorites.
▪ Already highly successful in popular music, dance and commercial television, blacks have found the movies a tougher nut to crack.
▪ Beverley was a tougher nut to crack.
▪ West Ham will be a tough nut to crack especially with big Lee in good form at the moment.
a hard/tough row to hoe
▪ Improving schools with little funding is a tough row to hoe.
▪ They have a hard row to hoe.
a hard/tough sell
as hard/tough as nails
▪ Willie O'Connor is as hard as nails and Liam Simpson takes no prisoners.
awkward/tricky/tough etc customer
▪ A tough customer, a man to be reckoned with.
▪ But he'd take on some one like Glenda Grower, who's a much tougher customer.
▪ But the tough treatment was only for tough customers.
▪ He's overcome some genuinely tough customers, but Gimenez was abject.
▪ He looks a tough customer to deal with.
▪ The next, you're making speeches to the wind. Tricky customers, ordinary people.
bad/hard/tough luck
▪ Can't have that, can we, not on top of all your other hard luck.
▪ He felt that this little piece of bad luck might affect his whole day.
▪ I kept looking into the mirror and hating my bad luck, but there they were.
▪ There were lots of near misses: some great saves from both keepers, and sheer bad luck.
▪ Unfortunately, the gents had bad luck.
▪ You go up there with the wrong attitude and come out with worse luck than you had before.
be a hard/stern/tough taskmaster
▪ If self-employment is any guide, the dejobbed worker is likely to be a stern taskmaster.
▪ She was a hard taskmaster but a considerably fairer one than la Belle Ethel.
▪ True to his word, he schooled her in horsemanship and was a hard taskmaster.
sweet-spirited/tough-spirited/rebellious-spirited etc
talk tough (on sth)
▪ Cell warrior: Prisoner who talks tough when safely in his cell but who is meek when out of it.
▪ Electioneering, he had talked tough about getting government off the backs of the people.
▪ Politicians enjoy an easy ride by provoking crime fear and talking tough about punishment.
▪ So far the Fed has talked tougher about inflation than it has acted.
▪ This Government talks tough for public consumption but has no stomach for action.
▪ You talk tough but inside you're just like all the rest of us.
▪ You karate the walls, you talk tough to the mirror.
tough/hard nut
▪ Already highly successful in popular music, dance and commercial television, blacks have found the movies a tougher nut to crack.
▪ Back, now, to the hard nuts.
▪ Beverley was a tougher nut to crack.
▪ One glance was all it took to realise this was one hard nut to crack - his features still completely impassive.
▪ Shearer, a tough nut not inclined to whinge, said his ankle was like a pudding.
▪ Tax will be an even tougher nut.
▪ West Ham will be a tough nut to crack especially with big Lee in good form at the moment.
tough/smart cookie
▪ Barney's a tough cookie. He knows how to play politics.
▪ Being a dedicated tough cookie, he has delivered the goods in impressive manner.
▪ In general, the provincial circuit is a far tougher cookie than its metropolitan counterpart.
▪ Monroe herself, of course, was a smart cookie, but she knew enough to play dumb.
▪ Mr Kinnock is clearly a tough cookie.
▪ Now, women on television are depicted as tough cookies who need a man like a fish needs a trouser press.
▪ The Gingerbread Man Summary A fox ate a smart cookie.
▪ Unless Newman is a smart cookie.
▪ We're tough cookies here, and so are you.
when the going gets tough, the tough get going
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Charles's body language was geared to communicating to street toughs.
IV.adverb
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ The team plays tough when it has to.
Wikipedia

Tough

Tough may refer to:

  • Toughness, the resistance to fracture of a material when stressed
  • Machismo, prominently exhibited or excessive masculinity
  • Psychological resilience

Tough may also refer to:

Tough (manga)

, is a martial arts manga series written and illustrated by Tetsuya Saruwatari. A sequel series, titled simply as was introduced in 2004 which continues the story further after the first series ended its run. A spin-off series, , has been serialized in Business Jump since 2004.

Tough (Craig Morgan song)

"Tough" is a song written by Joe Leathers and Monty Criswell, and recorded by American country singer Craig Morgan. It was released in March 2007 as the second single from his album Little Bit of Life.

Tough (Kurtis Blow album)

Tough is the third album by rapper Kurtis Blow, released in 1982 on Mercury Records. It reached #38 on the Black Albums chart and #167 on the Pop Albums charts. The single "Tough" reached #37 on the Black Singles chart.

Tough (Wishbone Ash album)

Tough is a compilation album by British rock artists Wishbone Ash, released in May 2008 by the Talking Elephant label. It features rock numbers by the band and complements the album Tender, featuring a compilation of mellow tunes, that was released at the same time.

Tough (John Mayall album)

Tough is a studio album by John Mayall. Released September 15, 2009 CD and mp3. Band Members: The album featured Jay Davenport on drums, Greg Rzab on bass, Tom Canning on keyboards and Rocky Athas on lead guitar. Mayall sings and plays harmonica, organ and guitar.

Tough (Kellie Pickler song)

"Tough" is a song written by Leslie Satcher, recorded by American country music artist Kellie Pickler. It was released on June 13, 2011 as the lead-off single to her third studio album, 100 Proof.

Tough (film)

Tough is a 1974 blaxploitation film about a young teenager who rebels against authority.

It was also known as Johnny Tough.

The film is a homage to The 400 Blows (1959).

WordNet

tough

  1. n. someone who learned to fight in the streets rather than being formally trained in the sport of boxing [syn: street fighter]

  2. an aggressive and violent young criminal [syn: hood, hoodlum, goon, punk, thug, toughie, strong-armer]

  3. a cruel and brutal fellow [syn: bully, hooligan, ruffian, roughneck, rowdy, yob, yobo, yobbo]

tough

  1. adj. not given to gentleness or sentimentality; "a tough character" [ant: tender]

  2. very difficult; severely testing stamina or resolution; "a rugged competitive examination"; "the rugged conditions of frontier life"; "the competition was tough"; "it's a tough life"; "it was a tough job" [syn: rugged]

  3. physically toughened; "the tough bottoms of his feet" [syn: toughened] [ant: tender]

  4. substantially made or constructed; "sturdy steel shelves"; "sturdy canvas"; "a tough all-weather fabric"; "some plastics are as tough as metal" [syn: sturdy]

  5. violent and lawless; "the more ruffianly element"; "tough street gangs" [syn: ruffianly]

  6. feeling physical discomfort or pain (`tough' is occasionally used colloquially for `bad'); "my throat feels bad"; "she felt bad all over"; "he was feeling tough after a restless night" [syn: bad]

  7. tough to cut or chew [ant: tender]

  8. unfortunate or hard to bear; "had hard luck"; "a tough break" [syn: hard]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

tough

Old English toh "strong and firm in texture, tenacious, sticky," from Proto-Germanic *tanhu- (cognates: Middle Low German tege, Middle Dutch taey, Dutch taai, Old High German zach, German zäh), which Watkins suggests is from PIE *denk- "to bite," from the notion of "holding fast." See rough for spelling change.\n

\nFrom c.1200 as "strong, powerful;" c.1300 as "not tender or fragile;" early 14c. as "difficult to chew," also "hard to endure." Figurative sense of "steadfast" is mid-14c.; that of "hard to do, trying, laborious" is from 1610s. Verb tough it "endure the experience" is first recorded 1830, American English. Tough guy attested from 1901. Tough-minded first recorded 1907 in William James. Tough luck first recorded 1912; tough shit, dismissive retort to a complaint, is from 1946.

tough

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

Wiktionary

tough

  1. 1 strong and resilient; sturdy. 2 (context of food English) difficult to cut or chew. 3 rugged or physically hardy. 4 stubborn. 5 (context of weather etc English) harsh or severe. 6 rowdy or rough. 7 (context of questions, etc. English) difficult or demanding. 8 (context material science English) Undergoing plastic deformation before breaking. interj. (context slang English) (non-gloss definition: Used to indicate lack of sympathy) n. A person who obtains things by force; a thug or bully. v

  2. 1 To endure. 2 To toughen.

The Collaborative International Dictionary

tough

tough \tough\, n. A person who is tough[7]; a ruffian; a thug; as, a cluster of neighborhood toughs hanging out on the corner.

Usage examples of "tough".

Although a successor Sunni general almost certainly would not be as willing as Saddam to take risks, interpret reality to suit his needs, and pursue an expansive foreign policy based on aggression, it would still be tough to accept what would look like a Saddam clone.

Morton on a long winding route through tough passes and clinging to contour lines along alarmingly steep slopes.

In brief, Alkine had an oddly bedraggled appearance yet a kind of provocative challenge like a bird of prey which had been in several tough fights but was quite prepared to take on another.

One wall, facing the borehole, was just a single huge pane of tough, anhydrous lunar glass.

Inside the wet tissues of the body, the two chemicals react, and they precipitate hydroxyl apatite, a tough, rigid, natural constituent of actual human bone.

She knew the arborescent grasses that yielded the longest and toughest fibers and these she sought and carried to her tree with the spear shaft that was to be.

I could, bandaged the injury with the cleanest fragment of shift, then tied the tough leaves to her feet like sandals.

The meat was very tough, as Bazil discovered when he bit into a thigh after cutting it free.

I should have known by knowing Bex that he was made of a tougher grit.

In his quiet way, he had already given some attention to Sir John Bittle, and he knew quite a lot about that unpopular man and his strongly fortified house with its garrison of toughs.

We would have a very tough time effecting a blockade two weeks from now, with the Russians already supplying Japan--it would mean a confrontation at sea with the Russians.

That blubber is something of the consistence of firm, close-grained beef, but tougher, more elastic and compact, and ranges from eight or ten to twelve and fifteen inches in thickness.

The rain still fell, and the ground was boggy, but by digging close to the tough roots of the ferns she was able to construct a satisfactory burrow.

With her hand-axe, she chopped away a section of the tough outer bark, then scraped off the inner cambium layer with a knife.

I had no time to spare in clambering up it, for I had to tear my heel out of the mouth of the foremost of them, and might have been dragged down by it had he not found my spur too tough a morsel for his chewing.