General English

General Science

  • adjective not able to be programmed or altered


  • adjective used to describe parts of a computer system that cannot be programmed or altered



  • Hard to the bite as applied to wheat, difficult to cut as applied to cheese, resisting penetration by a sharp object


  • used to describe a wine that has a high level of acid or tannin and is astringent, making your mouth pucker in reaction. It is often used to describe young red wines that need to be aged.

Origin & History of “hard”

Hard comes ultimately from a prehistoric Indo-European *krátus, which denoted ‘power, strength’. this original meaning was carried over into Greek krátos ‘strength, power, authority’ (source of the ending -cracy in such English words as democracy and plutocracy), but the Germanic languages took it over mainly in the sense ‘resistant to physical pressure’. The prehistoric Germanic form *kharthuz produced, besides English hard, German hart, Dutch hard, Swedish hård, and Danish haard. The sense ‘difficult’, incidentally, developed in the 14th and 15th century from the notion ‘resistant to one’s efforts’.

A Germanic derived verb *kharthjan ‘harden’ was borrowed into Old French as hardir ‘embolden’, and its past participle hardi ‘bold’ reached English as hardy (13th c.). Its main modern sense, ‘robust, tough’, presumably a harking back to its distant English relative hard, developed in the 16th century.