Definition of hard line in English:

hard line


  • An uncompromising adherence to a firm policy.

    ‘he is known to take a hard line on sentencing policy for murder’
    • ‘For some it will confirm the view that a hard line was, and is, justified.’
    • ‘That issue has surfaced before and if the commission takes a hard line we could be looking at the demise of the entire sector before long.’
    • ‘They may split the vote in a way that favours someone such as Maureen Gilroy who takes a hard line against issues of social equity.’
    • ‘Why moderate your stance or reach out to the center when there is no penalty to pay for digging in your heels and taking a hard line?’
    • ‘Some fear the tough policy will deter people from coming to the city, while others argue ambassadors must take a hard line on those who break the rules.’
    • ‘Will China suggest Australia compromise its hard line free trade position to attend the Summit?’
    • ‘I know that Sharon is a hard line politician who won't give any ground, but the mood in Israel is changing and he won't be around forever.’
    • ‘The Minister's department have taken a hard line with social welfare fraudsters in recent years.’
    • ‘In the end King Birendra resisted the hard line and conceded before the massive peoples' movement for democracy.’
    • ‘The company, based in James Street, has introduced the hard line tactics in a bid to clamp down on offenders who are determined not to pay their fares.’
    • ‘But Maldon officers are being forced to take an especially hard line on the problem because of the high level of incidents.’
    • ‘Soe Win is believed to espouse a hard line against Suu Kyi's movement and with foreign critics who favour democracy.’
    • ‘Yorkshire's committee decided last week to take a hard line and tell Gough that they expected him to see out the remaining year of his contract.’
    • ‘He endorses a hard line on abortion in the platform, but he welcomes pro-choice people in the party.’
    • ‘Phil Gallie, the voice of social conservatism, believes a hard line on the clause will deliver votes in the Ayr by-election.’
    • ‘Under common attack, more moderate factions are forced to commit to the extreme hard line, whether they like it or not.’
    • ‘Molotov favoured a continuation of the hard line in foreign policy, especially towards Tito.’
    • ‘Vodafone has taken a hard line with abusive text messages, threatening to disconnect offenders' phones.’
    • ‘Bosses at a Salford secondary school with one of the highest truancy rates in the country say they take a hard line on absences other schools would ignore.’
    • ‘This was the reason given last year for the government to take such a hard line over the rights of Muslim girls to wear the headscarf to school.’


  • Uncompromising; strict.

    ‘a hard-line party activist’
    • ‘He has the great advantage in politics of being popular with people who are not just hard-line members of his own party.’
    • ‘Blunkett, the hard-line hammer of the criminals, the bulwark against the terrorist threat, was the natural front man for such a campaign.’
    • ‘Radical and hard-line criticism was poured on senior teachers.’
    • ‘But now, nobody's questioning, except a few hard-line pro-rights activists.’
    • ‘So why does he sound so much like a new-age hard-line feminist?’
    • ‘These judges should not be hard-line ideologues for the controlling political party.’
    • ‘AK has publicly stated its commitment to the secular status of Turkey, but now it will have to destroy hard-line Islamist groups.’
    • ‘Too often, he failed to understand how he was perceived not by hard-line Democrats, but by the general public.’
    • ‘The squatters were mostly from hard-line enclaves in the West Bank, not from Gaza settlements slated for evacuation.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Oliphant said Safa has noted with extreme concern the hard-line attitude of the city officials in Cape Town.’
    • ‘One can only hope that Teheran's hard-line clerics haven't been reading the Washington Post.’
    • ‘As a result, politics has been dominated by hard-line ethnic parties ever since.’
    • ‘Draganova is a member of the hard-line Stalinist Bulgarian Communist Party.’
    • ‘You are never going to convert hard-line extremists by behaving properly, David concedes.’
    • ‘Roger and his hard line crew at Woolies would fall about laughing!’
    • ‘The impasse is encouraging hard-line Unionists to target the rule as a critical flaw of the reforms they oppose.’
    • ‘Many of the madrassas were run by Jamiat-e-Ulema-i-Islami, one of Pakistan's main hard-line religious parties.’
    • ‘Patent litigation is expensive, and a large company can wear down almost anyone if it adopts a hard-line stance.’
    • ‘The parallel British demilitarisation of the province, will also be tough on hard-line unionists.’
    • ‘If fuel prices continue to rise and the Government is not prepared to do something about fuel duty, then it had better look out, warn hard-line farmers.’
    uncompromising, strict, diehard, extreme, tough, inflexible, immoderate, intransigent, intractable, unyielding, undeviating, unwavering, single-minded, not giving an inch
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hard line