Definition of hardball in English:



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

    • ‘Softball nationals has more entrants than hardball nationals’
    • ‘Twenty-two coaches voted to switch to softball, seven to keep hardball.’
    • ‘I have friends who've paid a lot of money to go to baseball fantasy camps to play hardball with ex-major leaguers.’
    • ‘Action aficionados should have nary a complaint with the quality of the hardball played here.’
    • ‘Still, the White Sox were a delight, baseball players playing country hardball.’
    • ‘Last year they moved the tournament to the Shore Racquet Club a few miles south in Somers Point and played hardball on softball courts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Known to many as ‘Wrigleyville,’ the north side neighborhood serves as Chicago's sports Mecca, where the Cubs play hardball in the Friendly Confines.’
    • ‘I thought we were playing hardball,’ Ruth drawls and Faulkner frowns, appearing to be gravely insulted.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The photos depict women participating in every sport from ping-pong to pole-vaulting, from hunting to hardball.’
    • ‘For years I've played men's league hardball with my friend Brad, a fellow partner in our Cincinnati accounting firm.’
    • ‘Eyewear is required in softball and hardball, singles and doubles.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘But these guys do play a splendid game of hardball, we must allow.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1informal Uncompromising and ruthless methods or dealings, especially in politics.
      ‘the leadership played hardball to win the vote’
      • ‘Unions engaged in contract negotiations say the company is playing hardball by trying to reduce benefits.’
      • ‘Still, it wasn't hard to grasp the meeting's big theme, a bitter game of hardball between the haves and have-nots.’
      • ‘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 Jackson plays hardball, he will point to the massive contracts that defensive tackles are pulling down.’
      • ‘So far, Bloomberg has played a spectacular game of political hardball with the union.’
      • ‘If she wanted to play hardball, then he was game.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘They play hardball, we play softball,’ Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile added.’
      • ‘This was interpreted by most as a reality check, a warning that to play hardball with the contractors could be counterproductive.’