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English definition of “the hard way”

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the hard way

a way of doing something that makes it more difficult than it needs to be: She always does things the hard way. C2 If you learn something the hard way, you learn from unpleasant experiences rather than by being taught: If she won't listen, she'll have to learn/find out the hard way.
(Definition of the hard way from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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