Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “tough”

See all translations

tough

adjective
 
 
/tʌf/
DIFFICULT B2 difficult: He's had a tough time at work recently. We've had to make some tough decisions.Difficult things and peoplePreventing and impeding
SEVERE Tough rules are severe: tough new laws on noise pollutionSevere
STRONG THING B2 not easily damaged, cut, etc: Children's shoes have to be tough. This meat's very tough.Physically strong and powerfulNot pleasant to eat or drink
STRONG PERSON B2 physically strong and not afraid of violence: a tough guy Physically strong and powerful
DETERMINED determined and not easily upset: You have to be tough to survive in politics.Strong-willed
UNFAIR unfair or unlucky: It can be tough on kids when parents get divorced.Good luck and bad luck
(Definition of tough from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “tough” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

bad/hard/tough luck

said to express sympathy with someone when something bad has happened to them

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More