Adjective "hardscrabble" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Involving hard work and struggle.
  1. 'Today the Jacksons are so deeply associated with the showbiz slickness of Southern California, it's easy to forget their hardscrabble Rust Belt roots.'
  2. 'As a golden boy, first in his class at West Point, and a Rhodes Scholar, he stood apart from the hardscrabble world of the combat arms.'
  3. 'Villaraigosa had a hardscrabble youth before turning into an activist for the teachers union and the ACLU.'
  4. 'Pregnancy has the further effect of burnishing Demi's biography: It makes her hardscrabble childhood seem more poignant.'
  5. 'He uses their millions to advertise his hardscrabble origins and oneness with the masses.'
  6. 'Rather than leaning on his appealingly gruff Neil Diamond pipes to articulate personal stories of drunkenness and hardscrabble redemption, Bachmann takes a more imaginative approach here.'
  7. 'Through the lens of history the emaciated prisoners look barely capable of smiling, but had the Nazi narrative prevailed, the same shot might now suggest weathered pioneers determined to make a life under hardscrabble conditions.'
  8. 'He's been through hard times: his hardscrabble childhood on the veld would make David Copperfield's seem cosseted by comparison.'
  9. 'Most of them struggle just to lead a hardscrabble life.'
  10. 'And at age 29, after seven hardscrabble years as a professional triathlete, Radkewich fully understands his PR responsibilities.'
  11. 'Edwards, a wealthy trial lawyer first elected to the Senate in 1998, has built his candidacy around the belief that his hardscrabble upbringing uniquely equips him to understand the struggles of Democratic voters.'


1. providing or yielding meagerly in return for much effort; demanding or unrewarding: the hardscrabble existence of mountainside farmers.

More examples(as adjective)

"towns can be hardscrabble."

"works can be hardscrabble."

"upbringings can be hardscrabble."

"neighbourhoods can be hardscrabble."

"districts can be hardscrabble."

More examples++


Early 19th century: originally as a noun in the sense ‘place thought of as the epitome of barrenness’.