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Related to hard knocks: School of Hard Knocks
The practical experiences of life, including hardships and disappointments: "He hadn't grown up in the school of hard knocks. Politically he had lived an easy life" (Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr.).
adversity or hardships.
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|Noun||1.||hard knocks - a state of misfortune or affliction; "debt-ridden farmers struggling with adversity"; "a life of hardship"|
ill-being - lack of prosperity or happiness or health
bad luck, ill luck, tough luck, misfortune - an unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes
disaster, catastrophe - a state of extreme (usually irremediable) ruin and misfortune; "lack of funds has resulted in a catastrophe for our school system"; "his policies were a disaster"
extremity - an extreme condition or state (especially of adversity or disease)
distress - a state of adversity (danger or affliction or need); "a ship in distress"; "she was the classic maiden in distress"
affliction - a state of great suffering and distress due to adversity
victimization - adversity resulting from being made a victim; "his victimization infuriated him"