Adjective "harsh" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Unpleasantly rough or jarring to the senses.
  1. 'harsh guttural shouts'
  2. 'He showed no sign of being effected by my harsh look, as he remained his annoying self, humming some tune I was vaguely familiar with.'
  3. 'Songs that whispered and shouted, voices that were harsh and rough or as soft as feathers.'
  4. 'UNDER THE harsh glare of fluorescent lights, hundreds of women bend over sewing machines and ironing boards amid piles of brightly coloured cloth.'
  5. 'The harsh neon light hanging from the tiled ceiling cast an eerie glow on his face, illuminating his serious features.'
  6. 'For starters, we all perform in the gentle, orange glow of candlelight from small glass holders on the floor rather than under the harsh glare of fluorescent light.'
  7. 'Keeping his eyes on the carpet, the prince spoke, though his voice was not as strong and harsh as it had seemed before.'
  8. 'His voice was hard and harsh, strict and stern, sad and happy all at the same time.'
  9. 'Sunlight tracked a path of sparkling white highlights toward the skyline, a light as harsh as if it were reflecting off burnished metal.'
  10. 'The voice rang throughout the room, harsh and cruel.'
  11. 'Stainless steel doors, polished white floors gleamed in the harsh white light.'
Cruel or severe.
  1. 'The harsh discipline of the free market was offered by conservatives as more than just a path toward greater prosperity.'
  2. 'Despite the fact that nature has been harsh and cruel to Afghanistan it has been generous in bestowing bounties of sorts.'
  3. 'Robbins's disciplinarianism won him a reputation as a harsh and cruel taskmaster.'
  4. 'The harsh and cruel elements of Russian society, especially the drive to dominate and control, fill the imagery of Dostoevsky's novels.'
  5. 'After Guinea became an independent nation in 1958, a harsh military government took power.'
  6. 'He said he did not know the reason for the duty change, but referred to his recent disclosure of graft within Kostrad and his harsh criticism of the military.'
  7. 'The measures taken have been pretty severe, if not harsh.'
  8. 'She wanted to say something that so harsh and cruel that it would make Alex feel worse than he had made her feel.'
  9. 'Home to her were the harsh, cruel streets in a city too preoccupied to care.'
  10. 'They were strict, cruel, harsh and made you feel guilty very easily.'
  11. 'the harsh environment of the desert'
  12. 'The spores can survive for years in harsh conditions, only becoming active when entering a body.'
  13. 'Another famous mountain stage is the climb of the Mont Ventoux, often claimed to be the hardest climb in the Tour due to the harsh conditions there.'
  14. 'Bison know how to survive these harsh conditions, and the people who live in these places have proved equally adaptable.'
  15. 'It can withstand weeds, insects and a harsh climate, thereby producing blossoms one after another.'
  16. 'Nigeria's harsh climate and even harsher diseases cut short their initial missionary work.'
  17. 'The band of friends, family, enemies and strangers must work together against the cruel weather and harsh terrain if they want to stay alive.'
  18. 'The wolves have been adapted so not only can they survive the harsh climate, but they can also eat both animals and vegetables.'
  19. 'The biological agent is a microbe that survives only in the harsh conditions of the Atacama.'
  20. 'The Chinese character refers to a kind of plant that can survive in harsh conditions and it also sounds the same as ‘difficult’ in Chinese.'
  21. 'It has proven to be fully adaptable to its habitat, well-suited to survive in harsh climates with their tough hide and wily brain.'
  22. 'These facts are issued with a cool precision that belies the harsh reality for the people who have actually been told to pack their bags and leave the building.'
  23. 'There's nothing like leaving familiar surroundings and then returning for helping you to cope with this harsh fact of reality: no one is indispensable.'
  24. 'Looking back over the six years Lee can still remember a significant personal high point in those first twelve months - away from the harsh realities of publishing.'
  25. 'On this occasion it is his aides who are getting a lesson in the harsh realities of the medium is the message.'
  26. 'His loss was all the more lamentable when that second leg ended scoreless and Ireland were left to ponder the harsh fact that a goal from Robbie Keane would have clinched a qualifying spot.'
  27. 'The harsh reality is that so many farmers now are living on ‘borrowed time’ and mortgages, and that a good harvest is definitively the only way to survive from one year to the next.'
  28. 'We cannot escape the harsh reality that as long as the quality of education is neglected and schools uncared for, it will be impossible to raise the morals of the country.'
  29. 'The ewes and cows are friends as well as income and although the harsh reality of farm life teaches you not to be too sentimental about your animals, you can't help but become attached to them.'
  30. 'They already witnessed and live the suffering of an oppressed people under the harsh realities of a capitalist system.'
  31. 'As graphic as that is, that's the harsh reality in that courtroom.'
  32. 'she finds soap too harsh and drying'
  33. 'Bran shifted uncomfortably under the harsh stares, strong team that he was.'
  34. 'Evaporation is faster (and accompanied by a slower loss of strength) in a dry cellar, resulting in an undesirably harsh style of brandy.'
  35. 'Others feel borak, and other forms of alcohol, may have a harsh effect on their stomachs, and find that their tendency to fall straight off to sleep after half a glass is a bit inconvenient.'
  36. 'Firstly try putting a piece of nylon stocking over the flash and you will take away the harsh effects of flash - especially close up.'
  37. 'The chemotherapy and radiation therapy that a child undergoes has many harsh side effects.'
  38. 'But from outside, the effect is of a harsh brick monolith, as the high, yellowish wall blends with acres of dull roof tiles.'
  39. 'Sometimes I can feel the pool emptying, drying up under a harsh sun.'
  40. 'Once I stopped trying to fight my oily skin with harsh soaps and drying alcohol-based products, it changed for the better.'
  41. 'The new, mixed-use One Raffles Link in Singapore has a west facade designed to mitigate the effects of the harsh tropical sun.'
  42. 'Its mutely inscrutable facade of bald concrete shields the house from the effects of the harsh south sun and deflects prying eyes.'


1. ungentle and unpleasant in action or effect: harsh treatment; harsh manners.

2. grim or unpleasantly severe; stern; cruel; austere: a harsh life; a harsh master.

3. physically uncomfortable; desolate; stark: a harsh land.

4. unpleasant to the ear; grating; strident: a harsh voice; a harsh sound.

5. unpleasantly rough, ragged, or coarse to the touch: a harsh surface.

6. jarring to the eye or to the esthetic sense; unrefined; crude; raw: harsh colors.

7. unple

More examples(as adjective)

"reports can be harsh on abuses."

"people can be harsh on people."

"winters can be harsh with weathers."

"terms can be harsh in climates."

"places can be harsh in judgments."

More examples++


Middle English: from Middle Low German harsch ‘rough’, literally ‘hairy’, from haer ‘hair’.