Definition of hardball in English:

hardball

noun

North american
  • 1Baseball, especially as contrasted with softball.

    • ‘Action aficionados should have nary a complaint with the quality of the hardball played here.’
    • ‘For years I've played men's league hardball with my friend Brad, a fellow partner in our Cincinnati accounting firm.’
    • ‘I have friends who've paid a lot of money to go to baseball fantasy camps to play hardball with ex-major leaguers.’
    • ‘But these guys do play a splendid game of hardball, we must allow.’
    • ‘Last year they moved the tournament to the Shore Racquet Club a few miles south in Somers Point and played hardball on softball courts.’
    • ‘The photos depict women participating in every sport from ping-pong to pole-vaulting, from hunting to hardball.’
    • ‘The event grew from there, as of course did the international game, which had pretty much displaced hardball as the game of choice in this country by the mid-1990's.’
    • ‘In fact, he's so pleased with his game that he's planning to join an amateur hardball league next season - just to get a little taste of his old major-league dream.’
    • ‘The Sox knew they had the Cardinals on the mat and they knew that no team in hardball history ever came back from a 3-0 World Series deficit’
    • ‘Then, once the real hardball begins - the, playoffs are a joy - most fans can no longer afford to go, Corporations buy up all the seats, bringing a joyless, almost dyspeptic, feel to arenas.’
    • ‘Kenneth Kane continues his recent good form, he is hoping to add the All-Ireland 60x30 softball to the hardball title he won earlier this year.’
    • ‘Twenty-two coaches voted to switch to softball, seven to keep hardball.’
    • ‘The team is seeking experienced players 16 and older with hardball, fast pitch or softball experience that have a desire to play at an elite international caliber.’
    • ‘If you read some of the dozens of spring previews, you'll read that your local hardball team had perhaps the worst offseason in all of baseball.’
    • ‘Known to many as ‘Wrigleyville,’ the north side neighborhood serves as Chicago's sports Mecca, where the Cubs play hardball in the Friendly Confines.’
    • ‘Still, the White Sox were a delight, baseball players playing country hardball.’
    • ‘Softball nationals has more entrants than hardball nationals’
    • ‘Eyewear is required in softball and hardball, singles and doubles.’
    • ‘I thought we were playing hardball,’ Ruth drawls and Faulkner frowns, appearing to be gravely insulted.’
    • ‘Sixth grade is when baseball gets serious, and seriously frightening: You play hardball, and a kid with good mechanics can throw a ball 65 mph.’
    1. 1.1informal Uncompromising and ruthless methods or dealings, especially in politics.
      ‘the leadership played hardball to win the vote’
      • ‘‘They play hardball, we play softball,’ Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile added.’
      • ‘So far, Bloomberg has played a spectacular game of political hardball with the union.’
      • ‘If Jackson plays hardball, he will point to the massive contracts that defensive tackles are pulling down.’
      • ‘We don't want our politicians to play the same game of hardball that our opponents play but whine and wring our hands when they win using those tactics.’
      • ‘But Angelos, one of the nation's leading labor attorneys, protracts most of his baseball negotiations, playing hardball with employees who can pursue better options.’
      • ‘If she wanted to play hardball, then he was game.’
      • ‘This was interpreted by most as a reality check, a warning that to play hardball with the contractors could be counterproductive.’
      • ‘Still, it wasn't hard to grasp the meeting's big theme, a bitter game of hardball between the haves and have-nots.’
      • ‘Unions engaged in contract negotiations say the company is playing hardball by trying to reduce benefits.’

Pronunciation:

hardball

/ˈhärdˌbôl/