hardball








noun

  1. baseball, as distinguished from softball.

adjective

  1. tough or ruthless: He wasn’t ready for the hardball politics of Washington.
  2. outspoken, challenging, or difficult: Reporters asked the president some hardball questions.
Idioms

  1. play hardball, to act or work aggressively, competitively, or ruthlessly, as in business or politics.

noun

  1. US and Canadian baseball as distinct from softball
  2. play hardball informal, mainly US and Canadian to act in a ruthless or uncompromising way
n.

1883 as the name of a game, from hard + ball (n.1). The figurative sense of “tough, uncompromising behavior” is from 1973.

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