harsh Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “harsh” in the English Dictionary

"harsh" in British English

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harshadjective

uk   /hɑːʃ/  us   /hɑːrʃ/
  • harsh adjective (UNKIND)

C1 unpleasant, ​unkind, ​cruel, or more ​severe than is ​necessary: harsh ​criticism The ​children had had a harsh ​upbringing. We ​thought the ​punishment was ​rather harsh for such a ​minoroffence. "There is no ​alternative," she said in a harsh ​voice. He said some harsh words (= ​spokeunkindly) about his ​brother.

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harshly
adverb uk   us   /-li/
C2 I ​thought she'd been ​treatedrather harshly.
harshness
noun [U] uk   us   /-nəs/
the harshness of the ​punishment
(Definition of harsh from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"harsh" in American English

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harshadjective [-er/-est only]

 us   /hɑrʃ/
unkind or ​cruel: harsh ​criticism
severe and ​unpleasant: a harsh ​winter harsh ​lighting
(Definition of harsh from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“harsh” in American English

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