Meaning of “play hardball” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"play hardball" in British English

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play hardball

mainly US informal to behave in a determined and forceful way in order to get what you want:

He was known on Wall Street for being outspoken and not afraid to play hardball.

play hardball

mainly US informal

to be firm and determined in order to get what you want:

He's a nice guy, but he can play hardball when he needs to.

(Definition of “play hardball” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"play hardball" in American English

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play hardball

infml to behave in an unpleasant, threatening way so that you get what you want:

He’s a nice guy, but he can play hardball when he has to.

(Definition of “play hardball” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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