Etymology
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Words related to hard

hardly (adv.)
c. 1200, "in a hard manner, with great exertion or effort," from Old English heardlice "sternly, severely, harshly; bravely; excessively" (see hard (adj.) + -ly (2)). Hence "assuredly, certainly" (early 14c.). Main modern sense of "barely, just" (1540s) reverses this, via the intermediate meaning "not easily, with trouble" (early 15c.). Formerly with superficial negative (not hardly). Similar formation in Old Saxon hardliko, German härtlich, Old Danish haardelig.
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hardness (n.)
Old English heardnes; see hard (adj.) + -ness. Meaning "difficulty of action or accomplishment" is late 14c.
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.
hard-on (n.)
"penile erection," 1922, earlier as an adjective (1893), from hard + on.
hardscrabble (n.)
in popular use from c. 1826 as a U.S. colloquial name for any barren or impoverished place "where a livelihood may be obtained only under great hardship and difficulty" [OED]; from hard (adj.) + noun from scrabble (v.). Noted in 1813 as a place-name in New York state; first recorded in journals of Lewis and Clark (1804) as the name of a prairie. Perhaps the original notion was "vigorous effort made under great stress," though this sense is recorded slightly later (1812). As an adjective by 1845.
hard-shell (adj.)
1838 of Baptists (figuratively); 1798 of clams; see hard (adj.) + shell (n.). Hard-shelled is from 1610s.
hardship (n.)
c. 1200, "quality of being hard" (obsolete), from hard (adj.) + -ship. Meaning "disadvantage, suffering, privation" is c. 1400.
hardtack (n.)
"ship's biscuit," 1830, from hard (adj.) + tack (n.3); soft-tack was soft wheaten bread.
hardware (n.)
mid-15c., "small metal goods," from hard (adj.) + ware (n.). In the sense of "physical components of a computer" it dates from 1947. Hardware store attested by 1789.
hardwood (n.)

1560s, from hard (adj.) + wood (n.). That from deciduous trees, as distinguished from that from pines and firs. Bartlett ("Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848) defines it as "A term applied to woods of solid texture that soon decay, including generally, beech, birch, maple, ash, &c. Used by shipwrights and farmers in Maine, in opposition to oak and pine."

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