From Middle English tough, towgh, tou, toȝ, from Old English tōh (“tough, tenacious, holding fast together; pliant; sticky, glutinous, clammy”), from Proto-West Germanic *tą̄h(ī), from Proto-Germanic *tanhuz (“fitting; clinging; tenacious; tough”), from Proto-Indo-European *denḱ- (“to bite”).
- Strong and resilient; sturdy.
- The tent, made of tough canvas, held up to many abuses.
- (of food) Difficult to cut or chew.
- To soften a tough cut of meat, the recipe suggested simmering it for hours.
- Rugged or physically hardy.
- Only a tough species will survive in the desert.
- He had a reputation as a tough negotiator.
- (of weather etc) Harsh or severe.
- Rowdy or rough.
- A bunch of the tough boys from the wrong side of the tracks threatened him.
- (of questions, etc.) Difficult or demanding.
- This is a tough crowd.
- 2012, BioWare, Mass Effect 3 (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, OCLC 962368035, PC, scene: Earth:
- Anderson: We fought hard to get here. But now the toughest part of our mission begins.
Anderson: We've got to drive right through the heart of Reaper-controlled territory, break past their defenses, and get to that beacon.
- (material science) Undergoing plastic deformation before breaking.
- do it tough
- hang tough
- tough call
- tough case
- tough cookie
- tough crowd
- tough guy
- tough love
- tough luck
- tough nut to crack
- tough row to hoe
- tough shit
- tough titty
- tough toodles
- tough tuchus
- when the going gets tough, the tough get going
- (slang) Used to indicate lack of sympathy
- If you don't like it, tough!
tough (plural toughs)
- A person who obtains things by force; a thug or bully.
- They were doing fine until they encountered a bunch of toughs from the opposition.
- 2018, Sandeep Jauhar, Heart: a History, →ISBN, page 54:
- He was in his early fifties, extensively tattooed, just the sort of tough I wouldn't want to meet alone in a parking lot at night, but right then he was whimpering.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- To endure.
- 2009, Paul Walsh, You and I and Others, →ISBN, page 64 - 65:
- We shall reminisce on how we toughed it through the winters as they reached the firm, long arm around to give the cold embrace, with ardor seldom loosed till warm winds Marched or Apriled in to soften winter's knuckles -- send rivulets of courage down to dandelions and tulips.
- 2011, Henry David Thoreau, Damion Searls, The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861, →ISBN, page 254:
- “No,” said Minott, “I've toughed it through the winter, and i want to stay and hear the bluebirds once more.
- 2012, Jerry Hopkins -, Extreme Cuisine: The Weird and Wonderful Foods That People Eat, →ISBN:
- Universal Plant Edibility Test The following sounds like a lot of work—it is!—but that's because it comes from the US Army Survival Manual as republished in 1994 as "a civilian's best guide for toughing it, anyplace in the world...a must for campers, hikers, explorers, pilots, and others whose vocation or avocations require familiarity with the wilderness or out-of-doors..."
- To toughen.
- (slang) Alternative form of
|number & gender||singular||plural|
|predicative||er ist tough||sie ist tough||es ist tough||sie sind tough|
(with definite article)
|nominative||der toughe||die toughe||das toughe||die toughen|
|genitive||des toughen||der toughen||des toughen||der toughen|
|dative||dem toughen||der toughen||dem toughen||den toughen|
|accusative||den toughen||die toughe||das toughe||die toughen|
(with indefinite article)
|nominative||ein tougher||eine toughe||ein toughes||(keine) toughen|
|genitive||eines toughen||einer toughen||eines toughen||(keiner) toughen|
|dative||einem toughen||einer toughen||einem toughen||(keinen) toughen|
|accusative||einen toughen||eine toughe||ein toughes||(keine) toughen|
- Alternative form of