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See also: Hardy



From Middle English hardy, hardi, from Old French hardi (hardy, daring, stout, bold).

Old French hardi is usually regarded as the past participle of hardir ("to harden, be bold, make bold"; compare Occitan ardir, Italian ardire), from Frankish *hardijan; but it may also have come directly from Frankish *hardi, a secondary form of Frankish *hard (compare Old High German harti, herti, secondary forms of Old High German hart (hard)); or even yet from Frankish *hardig (compare Middle Low German herdich (persevering), Old Danish hærdig, Norwegian herdig, Swedish härdig (vigorous, courageous)).

Cognate with hard. May have at some point also been surface analysed as hard + -y.



hardy (comparative hardier, superlative hardiest)

  1. Having rugged physical strength; inured to fatigue or hardships.
    • 1824, R. W. Dickson, “Hogs or Swine § Swing-tailed Breed or Sort”, in A Complete System of Improved Live Stock and Cattle Management; [] [1], volume 2, London, →OCLC, page 287:
      It is an useful sort of the smaller kind of hogs, that is hardy in its nature and of considerable weight in proportion to its size.
    • 2019 November 21, Samanth Subramanian, “How our home delivery habit reshaped the world”, in The Guardian[2]:
      Even adding 1mm of thickness to the cardboard, to make it hardier, might use up a substantial forest when multiplied across hundreds of billions of boxes.
  2. (botany) Able to survive adverse growing conditions.
    A hardy plant is one that can withstand the extremes of climate, such as frost.
    • 1880, Arthur Herbert Church, Food: Some Account of Its Sources, Constituents and Uses[3], London: Chapman and Hall, page 72:
      The oat is hardier than wheat, and ripens in higher latitudes.
    • 2012, David L. Culp, The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage, Timber Press, page 503:
      By watching where the snow melted first, I discovered warmer spots that I knew would be possible locations for late-winter bloomers or borderline hardy plants.
  3. Brave and resolute.
  4. Impudent.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



hardy (plural hardies)

  1. (usually in the plural) Anything, especially a plant, that is hardy.
    • 2009 June 1, David Carr, “Cast Out, but Still Reporting”, in New York Times[4]:
      Across the country, various bands of journalistic hardies — newsroom pros whose services are no longer salient to a crippled and disrupted information economy — have taken matters into their own hands.
  2. A blacksmith's fuller or chisel, having a square shank for insertion into a square hole in an anvil, called the hardy hole.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “hardy”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)


Middle French[edit]


From Old French hardi.


hardy m (feminine singular hardye, masculine plural hardys, feminine plural hardyes)

  1. hardy (having rugged physical strength)


  • French: hardi



Borrowed from Czech hrdý, from Proto-Slavic *gъ̑rdъ.



hardy (comparative bardziej hardy, superlative najbardziej hardy, adverb hardo)

  1. haughty, supercilious, arrogant
    Synonyms: butny, dumny


Derived terms[edit]



Further reading[edit]

  • hardy in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • hardy in Polish dictionaries at PWN
  • Wanda Decyk-Zięba, editor (2018-2022), “hardy”, in Dydaktyczny Słownik Etymologiczno-historyczny Języka Polskiego [A Didactic, Historical, Etymological Dictionary of the Polish Language] (in Polish)