Definition of hard case in English:

hard case

noun

informal
  • 1A tough or intractable person.

    • ‘In any event, it is a non-residential course, and it will not take young people who behave ‘inappropriately’, or use drugs or alcohol - precisely the hard cases that Airborne is willing to tackle.’
    • ‘If the Religion Clauses demand neutrality, we must enforce them, in hard cases as well as easy ones.’
    • ‘There are hard cases in the law of cyberspace, no doubt.’
    • ‘What Fathers 4 Justice and its media allies (who tip quickly into outright misogynists) choose to ignore is that a significant number of these hard cases include domestic violence and sexual abuse.’
    • ‘According to Sara Nathan, a member of the HFEA ethics committee, ‘there are always hard cases and difficult decisions’.’
    • ‘It is hard cases such as these, where content seems beyond the possibility of defence, where the case for free speech online is fought or lost.’
    • ‘Of course, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of hard cases.’
    • ‘But writing honestly about the hard cases isn't impossible.’
    • ‘But there are hard cases out there and most of us in our smug and complaining satisfaction simply don't know.’
    • ‘It's only to say that I don't think gay adoption can be relied on to clean up the foster care system's hard cases.’
    • ‘Some people are hard cases - they may never see themselves as responsible.’
    • ‘You may argue that International strife and politics is not like a simple dispute between hard cases behind the bike sheds but I will counter with the complex reply that ‘YES IT IS’.’
    • ‘There is, in my opinion, no right answer in this hardest of hard cases.’
    • ‘But that is the problem with the bad law resulting from hard cases - the exercise of child protection measures becomes as arbitrary as the exercise of criminal justice.’
    • ‘The absolute prohibition on abortion won't wash with the Irish people because its implication for hard cases they can identify with frightens them.’
    • ‘The US secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, argues that the inhumane incarceration, the secrecy and the abuse of any principles of justice are all justified by the fact that these prisoners are the hardest of hard cases.’
    • ‘We are dealing with what you would call the hard cases - people with special difficulties.’
    • ‘‘I have seen tapes of Jimenez and he looks a real tough, hard case,’ Calzaghe said.’
    • ‘It's the only plausible cause left, since only the hardest of hard cases is still holding out for a breakthrough in the WMD snipe hunt.’
    • ‘They have never met them, it is such a big organisation that they struggle to know people, and I thought there was more we could do to interact and get our people out and help them with the hard cases and prove our credibility.’
  • 2Australian NZ An amusing or eccentric person.

    • ‘He was a twin to Hank, an equally hard case Good Bastard who some of you would have read about in the Good Bastards book.’
    • ‘Wanganui is that perfect balance of being hard case but not downright Carterton-level mongrel.’
    • ‘‘They're hard case some of these employers,’ Ferguson said.’
    • ‘In any event it is aimed at weaving you into the way of life of these hard case larrikin bastards.’
    joker, comedian, comic, humorist, wag, wit, funny man, funny woman, prankster, jokester, clown, buffoon, character
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