Definition of tough


  • not given to gentleness or sentimentality; "a tough character". Antonyms: tender.
  • very difficult; severely testing stamina or resolution; "a rugged competitive examination", "the rugged conditions of frontier life", "the competition was tough", "it's a tough life", "it was a tough job". Synonyms: rugged.
  • physically toughened; "the tough bottoms of his feet". Synonyms: toughened. Antonyms: tender.
  • substantially made or constructed; "sturdy steel shelves", "sturdy canvas", "a tough all-weather fabric", "some plastics are as tough as metal". Synonyms: sturdy.
  • violent and lawless; "the more ruffianly element", "tough street gangs". Synonyms: ruffianly.
  • feeling physical discomfort or pain (`tough' is occasionally used colloquially for `bad'); "my throat feels bad", "she felt bad all over", "he was feeling tough after a restless night". Synonyms: bad.
  • resistant to cutting or chewing. Antonyms: tender.
  • unfortunate or hard to bear; "had hard luck", "a tough break". Synonyms: hard.
  • making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe; "a baffling problem", "I faced the knotty problem of what to have for breakfast", "a problematic situation at home". Synonyms: baffling, elusive, knotty, problematic, problematical.


Related words

bully, bullyboy, muscle, muscleman, skinhead.

Words nearby tough

bough, cough, dough, lough, rough, sough, though, touch, trough.

Rhymes with tough

bluff, buff, cuff, duff, enough, enough, fluff, gruff, guff, huff, luff, muff, puff, rebuff, rebuff, rough, ruf, ruff, scuff, slough.

Start with tough

toughest, tougher, tougheners, toughnesses, toughly, toughs, toughish, toughener, toughie, toughen, toughed, toughened, toughing, toughies, toughness, toughening, toughy, toughens.

More information about tough

tough unscrambled

Scrabble and Words With Friends points

  • tough is a valid Scrabble US word, worth 9 points
  • tough is a valid Scrabble UK word, worth 9 points
  • tough is a valid Words With Friends word, worth 10 points
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