Definition of hard up in English:

hard up


  • Short of money.

    ‘I'm too hard up to buy fancy clothes’
    • ‘He could be very generous - lending money to hard up locals, or secretly dropping off a carton of groceries at someone's back door.’
    • ‘It really worries me when relatives buy you something even though you know they are hard up.’
    • ‘I was very hard up when I was at school and university.’
    • ‘Thankfully, I've never been truly hard up, but some of the 1980s were a bit tough.’
    • ‘Virtually overnight, they were out of business and very, very hard up.’
    • ‘Don't use the excuse of being hard up as a reason for not doing it.’
    • ‘I think that's probably insulting to people who are genuinely really, really hard up.’
    • ‘But, to be honest, I would have to say I've never been really hard up.’
    • ‘And as unreliable as official statistics are, there can be no doubt that far too many people are hard up.’
    • ‘I have always been keen to earn money, so while I couldn't say I have ever been really hard up, it's because I have worked to make sure I'm not.’
    poor, short of money, short of cash, impoverished, impecunious, in financial difficulties, financially embarrassed, financially distressed, in reduced circumstances, in straitened circumstances, unable to make ends meet
    penniless, moneyless, destitute, poverty-stricken, bankrupt, in the red, without a sou, without means of support
    broke, stony broke, flat broke, bust, on one's beam-ends
    skint, cleaned out, strapped for cash, on one's uppers, not having two farthings to rub together, not having two pennies to rub together, in queer street, without a shot in one's locker, without a brass farthing
    stone broke, without a red cent
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hard up

/ˌhärd ˈəp/