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Searching for synonyms for tough? Here’s some similar words from our thesaurus you can use instead.
tough as in someone who learned to fight in the streets rather than being formally trained in the sport of boxing


    • street fighter a contestant who is very aggressive and willing to use underhand methods ; someone who learned to fight in the streets rather than being formally trained in the sport of boxing
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    tough as in an aggressive and violent young criminal


      • hood cover with a hood; an aggressive and violent young criminal ; a protective covering that is part of a plant ; (slang) a neighborhood ; a tubular attachment used to keep stray light out of the lens of a camera ; (falconry) a leather covering for a hawk's head ; metal covering leading to a vent that exhausts smoke or fumes ; the folding roof of a carriage ; a headdress that protects the head and face ; protective covering consisting of a metal part that covers the engine; (zoology) an expandable part or marking that resembles a hood on the head or neck of an animal
      • hoodlum an aggressive and violent young criminal
      • goon an awkward stupid person ; an aggressive and violent young criminal
      • punk of very poor quality; an aggressive and violent young criminal ; substance that smolders when ignited; material for starting a fire ; a teenager or young adult who is a performer (or enthusiast) of punk rock and a member of the punk youth subculture ; rock music with deliberately offensive lyrics expressing anger and social alienation
      • thug an aggressive and violent young criminal
      • toughie an aggressive and violent young criminal ; a particularly difficult or baffling question or problem
      • strong-armer an aggressive and violent young criminal
      tough as in a cruel and brutal fellow


        • bully very good; be bossy towards; discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; a cruel and brutal fellow ; a hired thug
        • hooligan a cruel and brutal fellow
        • ruffian a cruel and brutal fellow
        • roughneck a cruel and brutal fellow
        • rowdy disturbing the public peace; a cruel and brutal fellow
        • yob a cruel and brutal fellow
        • yobo a cruel and brutal fellow
        • yobbo a cruel and brutal fellow
        tough as in not given to gentleness or sentimentality
        • "a tough character"
        tough as in 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"


        • rugged sturdy and strong in constitution or construction; having long narrow shallow depressions (as grooves or wrinkles) in the surface; topographically very uneven; very difficult
        tough as in physically toughened
        • "the tough bottoms of his feet"


        • toughened physically toughened; made hard or flexible or resilient especially by heat treatment
        tough as in substantially made or constructed
        • "sturdy steel shelves"
        • "sturdy canvas"
        • "a tough all-weather fabric"
        • "some plastics are as tough as metal"


        • sturdy having rugged physical strength; not making concessions; substantially made or constructed
        tough as in violent and lawless
        • "the more ruffianly element"
        • "tough street gangs"


        • ruffianly violent and lawless
        tough as in 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"


        • bad that which is below standard or expectations as of ethics or decency; with great intensity (`bad' is a nonstandard variant for `badly'); very much; having undesirable or negative qualities; very intense; feeling physical discomfort or pain (`tough' is occasionally used colloquially for `bad'); (of foodstuffs) not in an edible or usable condition; feeling or expressing regret or sorrow or a sense of loss over something done or undone; not capable of being collected; below average in quality or performance; nonstandard; not financially safe or secure; physically unsound or diseased; capable of harming; characterized by wickedness or immorality; reproduced fraudulently; not working properly
        tough as in resistant to cutting or chewing
          tough as in unfortunate or hard to bear
          • "had hard luck"
          • "a tough break"


          • hard with effort or force or vigor; with firmness; earnestly or intently; causing great damage or hardship; slowly and with difficulty; indulging excessively; into a solid condition; very near or close in space or time; with pain or distress or bitterness; to the full extent possible; not easy; dispassionate; resisting weight or pressure ; very strong or vigorous; characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion; produced without vibration of the vocal cords; (of light) transmitted directly from a pointed light source ; (of speech sounds); given to excessive indulgence of bodily appetites especially for intoxicating liquors; being distilled rather than fermented; unfortunate or hard to bear; dried out
          tough as in 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"


          • baffling making great mental demands
          • elusive difficult to describe; skillful at eluding capture; difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze; making great mental demands
          • knotty making great mental demands; used of old persons or old trees; highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious; tangled in knots or snarls
          • problematic open to doubt or debate; making great mental demands
          • problematical open to doubt or debate; making great mental demands

          Exploring Synonyms for Tough: Enhancing Your Vocabulary

          When it comes to finding the right words to express resilience, strength, or durability, English offers a multitude of synonyms for the term tough. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into various alternatives to tough, exploring their nuances and usage to help you communicate effectively.

          Unveiling Synonyms for Tough

          The English language is replete with synonyms, each offering a distinct shade of meaning to convey the idea of resilience or difficulty. Let's explore some commonly used synonyms for tough and their contextual applications.

          1. Resilient

          Resilient describes someone or something that can withstand challenges, setbacks, or adversity, bouncing back from difficult situations.

          Example: Despite facing numerous obstacles, she remained resilient in her pursuit of her dreams, never losing hope.

          2. Sturdy

          Sturdy signifies strength, robustness, or durability, often associated with physical objects or structures.

          Example: The old oak tree stood tall and sturdy against the raging storm, its roots firmly anchored in the ground.

          3. Tenacious

          Tenacious refers to someone who is persistent, determined, or unyielding in their pursuit of a goal or objective.

          Example: His tenacious spirit drove him to overcome countless challenges on his path to success, never giving up despite the odds.

          4. Gritty

          Gritty conveys toughness, courage, or resolve, particularly in the face of adversity or hardship.

          Example: The boxer's gritty determination and unwavering focus propelled him to victory against all odds.

          5. Hardy

          Hardy describes someone or something that is robust, rugged, or able to withstand harsh conditions or environments.

          Example: The mountain climbers were equipped with hardy gear designed to endure extreme weather conditions at high altitudes.

          Examples in Context

          Let's contextualize these synonyms with practical examples to illustrate their usage in everyday language:

          • Resilient: Despite facing numerous setbacks, the community demonstrated remarkable resilience in rebuilding after the natural disaster.
          • Sturdy: The sturdy bridge withstood the force of the rushing river, providing safe passage for travelers across the gorge.
          • Tenacious: Her tenacious pursuit of justice for the marginalized communities inspired others to join the cause and effect change.
          • Gritty: The gritty determination of the team propelled them to victory in the final minutes of the game, against all odds.
          • Hardy: The hardy plants thrived in the harsh desert environment, showcasing their ability to adapt and survive.

          Summary and Key Insights

          Exploring synonyms for tough expands your vocabulary and allows for more nuanced and precise communication. Whether you opt for resilient, sturdy, tenacious, gritty, or hardy, each synonym offers a unique perspective on strength and endurance.

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          Frequently Asked Questions

          Can I use these synonyms interchangeably with tough in all contexts?

          A1: While these synonyms convey the idea of resilience or strength, their usage may vary depending on the specific context and intended emphasis.

          How do I determine which synonym to use in my writing?

          Consider the tone, context, and intended meaning of your message to select the most appropriate synonym for tough in your writing.

          Are there instances where one synonym is more suitable than others?

          Yes, certain synonyms may be more fitting based on the specific nuances or connotations they carry. Experiment with different synonyms to find the best match for your intended expression.

          Can these synonyms be used in formal writing?

          Absolutely. While some synonyms may lean towards a more formal register, they can all be employed effectively in formal writing to convey the idea of resilience or strength.

          Do these synonyms have antonyms?

          Yes, each synonym for tough has its corresponding antonym, such as fragile, weak, or delicate, which convey the opposite meaning of vulnerability or frailty.

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