- baseball, as distinguished from softball.
- tough or ruthless: He wasn’t ready for the hardball politics of Washington.
- outspoken, challenging, or difficult: Reporters asked the president some hardball questions.
- play hardball, to act or work aggressively, competitively, or ruthlessly, as in business or politics.
- US and Canadian baseball as distinct from softball
- play hardball informal, mainly US and Canadian to act in a ruthless or uncompromising way