Definition of hard adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



harder, hardest

with effort

1 with great effort; with difficultyto work hardYou must try harder.She tried her hardest not to show how disappointed she was.Don't hit it so hard!He was still breathing hard after his run.Our victory was hard won (= won with great difficulty).

with force

2 with great force(figurative)Small businesses have been hit hard/ hard hit by the recession.


3 very carefully and thoroughlyto think hardWe thought long and hard before deciding to move into a new house.

a lot

4 heavily; a lot or for a long timeIt was raining hard when we set off.


5 at a sharp angle to the left/rightMake a hard right at the next intersection.

be hard pressed/pushed/put to do something

to find it very difficult to do something
He was hard put to explain her hard pressed/put to dobe hard pushed/put to do

be hard up for something

to have too few or too little of something
We're hard up for ideas. see also hard upbe hard up for

hard on something

very soon after
His death followed hard on hers.hard on

old habits, traditions, etc. die hard

used to say that things change very slowly
old habits, traditions, etc. die hard

(close/hard/hot) on someone's/something's heels

very close behind someone or something; very soon after something
News of rising unemployment followed hard on the heels of falling export figures.He ran ahead, with the others hot on his heelson heelsclose/hot on heelson heelshard/hot on heels

take something hard

to be very upset by something
He took his wife's death very hard.take hard
Usage noteUsage note: hard hardlyThe adverb from the adjective hard is hard: I have to work hard today. She has thought very hard about her future plans. It was raining hard outside.Hardly is an adverb meaning “almost not”: I hardly ever go to concerts. I can hardly wait for my birthday. It cannot be used instead of hard:I’ve been working hardly today. She has thought very hardly about her future plans. It was raining hardly outside.⇨ note at hardly