Tough Tough, a. [Compar. {Tougher}; superl. {Toughest}.] [OE. tough, AS. t[=o]h, akin to D. taai, LG. taa, tage, tau, OHG. z[=a]hi, G. z[aum]he, and also to AS. getenge near to, close to, oppressive, OS. bitengi.] 1. Having the quality of flexibility without brittleness; yielding to force without breaking; capable of resisting great strain; as, the ligaments of animals are remarkably tough. ``Tough roots and stubs. '' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. Not easily broken; able to endure hardship; firm; strong; -- of objects and people; as, tough sinews. --Cowper. [1913 Webster]

A body made of brass, the crone demands, . . . Tough to the last, and with no toil to tire. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

The basis of his character was caution combined with tough tenacity of purpose. --J. A. Symonds. [1913 Webster]

3. Not easily separated; viscous; clammy; tenacious; as, tough phlegm. [1913 Webster]

4. Stiff; rigid; not flexible; stubborn; as, a tough bow. [1913 Webster]

So tough a frame she could not bend. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

5. Severe; violent; as, a tough storm. [Colloq.] `` A tough debate. '' --Fuller. [1913 Webster]

6. Difficult to do, perform, or accomplish; as, a tough job. [PJC]

7. Prone to aggressive or violent behavior; rowdyish; -- of people, or groups; as, a tough neighborhood; a tough character. [PJC]

{To make it tough}, to make it a matter of difficulty; to make it a hard matter. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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