Definition of hard-boiled in English:



  • 1(of an egg) boiled until the white and the yolk are solid.

    • ‘Spoon cottage cheese mixture into hard-boiled egg halves and refrigerate.’
    • ‘The hearty breakfast buffet includes hot oatmeal, seasonal fruit, hard-boiled eggs, baked apples and whole-grain breads.’
    • ‘For breakfast, he pulled yolks from hard-boiled eggs and downed them with oatmeal.’
    • ‘Texture's certainly the reason I despised hard-boiled egg yolks, though it doesn't explain my fear of eating potato salad.’
    • ‘Shame on you for enjoying that hard-boiled egg on your chef's salad.’
    • ‘I'll often get a salad, and then put hard-boiled egg whites and turkey on it, maybe some fish, and grab some fruit for dessert.’
    • ‘I've learned to appreciate the snack-stop pickles, especially combined with a hard-boiled egg I snatch at breakfast and save until my body is craving protein after lunch.’
    • ‘Once again, Geoff reached the crux of the procedure: coaxing the lens through the small incision, a move about as easy as extracting the yolk from a hard-boiled egg without removing the shell.’
    • ‘This may include folar, a cake made of sweet dough and topped with hard-boiled eggs.’
    • ‘Diced hard-boiled eggs with the shell and whole-grain cereals and wheat bread are also excellent items to add to their diet.’
    • ‘David's plan informed me that I was allowed to snack on two celery sticks, half a red pepper, plus some chopped hard-boiled egg white - whereupon I told David to stuff it, and ate a bowl of Frosties and three marshmallows.’
    • ‘At Rue 57, a bustling midtown Manhattan French bistro, along with the hard-boiled eggs displayed on the bar for snacking are salted edamame, a perfect bar nibble.’
    • ‘The Tatars are known in particular for their wide array of pastries, especially their meat pies, which, besides beef or lamb and onions, may include ingredients such as hard-boiled eggs, rice, and raisins.’
    • ‘Even if the salad is dressed with strips of duck, bits of bacon lardons, goat cheese or sliced hard-boiled eggs, stay the course.’
    • ‘He adds anchovy fillets to stews and casseroles instead of sea salt, and can't face a hard-boiled egg without an anchovy curled up on top of it.’
    • ‘I was getting all sorts of rich flavours from a cold hard-boiled egg.’
    • ‘‘A typical breakfast consists of a mashed up hard-boiled egg, a white soup-like substance, and bread and cream,’ said Chandler.’
    • ‘Make double batches of rice, pasta, baked potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and chili.’
    • ‘Plus, I switch the protein shakes with hard-boiled egg whites.’
    • ‘He then smiled charmingly as he offered me a hard-boiled egg from his plate, warning that the yolk had been removed.’
  • 2(of a person) tough and cynical.

    • ‘Ads urged readers to become skilled, well-paid workers; hard-boiled heroes knocked heads with clients and agency owners over their workplace autonomy.’
    • ‘Conte seems like one of his hard-boiled characters from elsewhere, rather than a celebrated psychiatrist, as he questions Ferrer and listens to his wife.’
    • ‘Can they be as hard-boiled and mean as their contemporary criminal counterparts?’
    • ‘Even hard-boiled sceptics will be stupefied at what is on sale there in place of the current literature: Neatly arranged and priced, as if they were the major works on the Nazi era, are the administrative reports of the memorial.’
    • ‘In place of imposing rational discovery, the hard-boiled hero experiences bewildering initiation into the violence just under an urbane surface.’
    • ‘From the hard-boiled Aunt Vippy in Brooklyn to her loving mother who sends cheesecakes from the family home 12,000 miles away in Australia, all the women in her family are larger than life in both senses of the word.’
    • ‘A jumbled curiosity of a film, Charlie isn't sure whether it wants to be a hard-boiled gangster thriller, a thoughtful biography, or a legal drama.’
    • ‘His disarming professorial habit of asking hard-boiled members of the press to repeat his words of wisdom after him (which he himself has repeated anyhow) somehow never seems offensive.’
    • ‘His staff is hard-boiled and believes that no pads means no results.’
    • ‘The hard-boiled reporters in attendance look on in astonishment as the doddering old CEO mimics pumping motions with his arms.’
    • ‘The unorthodox approach of child protection lecturer Dr Sue Hamilton caused a flutter of discomfort among the hard-boiled audience, but at the seminar on youth development it was to be politics, not sex, which aroused the football men.’
    • ‘These unbelievably hard-boiled women, one has already lost an eye and looks like Captain Ahab, transform over the course of the year from dry joke tellers to ticking time bombs.’
    • ‘The fascinating thing about him is he's not the cliched cynical and hard-boiled war photographer portrayed in Hollywood movies.’
    • ‘The hard-boiled hero's rapport with oppressed and marginalized people has a well-articulated rationale.’
    • ‘By the time the opening titles assault the viewer with a hard-edged metallic clunk, Nowhere To Hide has already set itself up as a hard-boiled gangster/detective film that is slick, fast and furious.’
    • ‘Walter Mosely is one of the few other black hard-boiled writers making an impact.’
    • ‘Revelation's story is all about Drake's evolution as an adventurer, so we needed a flexible character - someone who isn't a hard-boiled guy from the start.’
    • ‘The role requires a fresh face, but a hard-boiled personality to sell the character.’
    • ‘The convention of extralegality for a just cause antedates the advent of hard-boiled heroes.’
    • ‘Roy's hard-boiled man with a softer side is the forerunner of characters like Sam Spade, and the beginning of film-noir.’
    cynical, tough, hardened, hard-bitten, hard-headed, callous, as hard as nails, unsentimental, lacking sentiment, world-weary, case-hardened, toughened by experience
    hard-nosed, as tough as old boots
    indurate, indurated
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Denoting a tough, realistic style of detective fiction set in a world permeated by corruption and deceit.
      ‘a hard-boiled thriller’
      • ‘V.I. Warshawski has matured into one of the all-time classic hard-boiled detective heroes of American mystery or crime fiction.’
      • ‘Casual Rex is a prequel to Garcia's debut novel Anonymous Rex, which was an excellent hard-boiled detective story set in modern times, but with a slight difference: dinosaurs still exist.’
      • ‘Woronov's prose occupies bizarre territory, somewhere between twisted lyricism and hard-boiled pulp fiction.’
      • ‘Buy the latest Robert Crais or Robert B. Parker instead, and be pleasantly surprised by how literate, humorous, and touching a hard-boiled detective novel can be.’
      • ‘If the study's rich allegorical approach gives less emphasis to any element of hard-boiled crime fiction, it is the formal aspects of style, point of view, and narrative structure.’
      • ‘It's a kind of hard-boiled detective novel in the style of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.’
      • ‘What the cosmos of a sixteenth-century miller has to do with twentieth century hard-boiled detective fiction and nineteenth-century dime novels is beyond me.’
      • ‘Following the dictates of the hard-boiled detective genre Jones plays with, there had to be violence in every episode, but I didn't want it to be without consequence, you know?’
      • ‘Rebus, though, is a good deal more than an identikit clone of the hard-boiled detectives whose stock has little varied or improved since Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.’
      • ‘The games have hard-boiled detective stories and John Woo cinematics - the sequel is subtitled ‘A Film Noir Love Story.’’
      • ‘It's going to be called The Drift, its another hard-boiled fiction.’
      • ‘True, the city wasn't much like that housing Sam Spade in Dashiell Hammett's hard-boiled fiction, but then I knew better than to imagine it would be.’
      • ‘Given the turbulent and often violent nature of the times, the reasons a writer might choose to reflect them through the medium of hard-boiled detective fiction might seem self-evident.’
      • ‘For hard-boiled fiction, the city is the preferred space - the city viewed from the margins, not the center, from a perspective that provides intimate knowledge of its darkest secrets.’
      • ‘Most of the stories printed here were first published in Black Mask, a pulp fiction magazine which epitomised the unsentimental, bracing, hard-boiled style of which Hammett proved the prototype.’
      • ‘Chandler has somehow come to embody the genre of hard-boiled detective fiction, although he didn't (as some people seem to believe) create it.’
      • ‘The Big Sleep, the 1946 film based on Raymond Chandler's novel, is a classic example of the hard-boiled detective cliché - before it became a cliché.’
      • ‘American forties noir was based on the often very dark popular novels of the twenties and thirties, dominated by the rise of what has come to be known as the hard-boiled school of crime fiction.’
      • ‘As they say in hard-boiled detective novels, the guy's made his choice.’
      • ‘Let's get one thing straight - Dashiell Hammett is the greatest author of hard-boiled detective fiction there ever was, or ever will be.’



/ˈhärd ˈˌboild/