Etymology
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hard-nosed (adj.)

"stubborn," 1927, from hard (adj.) + nose (n.). Earlier of bullets or shells with hard tips, and of dogs that had difficulty following a scent. Not in common use before 1950s, when it begins to be applied to tough or relentless characters generally (Damon Runyon characters, U.S. Marines, Princeton professors, etc.). Soft-nosed seems to have been used only of bullets.

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Definitions of hard-nosed

hard-nosed (adj.)
guided by practical experience and observation rather than theory;
a hard-nosed labor leader
Synonyms: hardheaded / practical / pragmatic
From wordnet.princeton.edu