Definition of when the going gets tough, the tough get going in US English:

when the going gets tough, the tough get going

phrase

proverb
  • When conditions become difficult people with a strong character become more determined.

    • ‘As the sun went down and a happy bunch went home, many were still in with a chance, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going.’
    • ‘As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going and the entire group was off the trail at Shramore eight hours after starting out.’
    • ‘We went through a difficult time, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going.’
    • ‘But when the going gets tough, the tough get going and in the final ten minutes they rapped over three points to earn victory.’
    • ‘It was then a case of when the going gets tough, the tough get going as Crawford clashed with the former West of Ireland champion and current senior international.’