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Related to hardball: play hardball


1. Baseball.
2. Informal The use of any means, however ruthless, to attain an objective.


1. (Baseball) US and Canadian baseball as distinct from softball
2. play hardball informal chiefly US and Canadian to act in a ruthless or uncompromising way



1. baseball, as distinguished from softball.
2. tough or ruthless: hardball politics.
3. outspoken, challenging, or difficult: hardball questions.
play hardball, to be aggressive and ruthless in one's dealings.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hardball - a no-nonsense attitude in business or politics; "they play hardball in the Senate"
attitude, mental attitude - a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways; "he had the attitude that work was fun"
2.hardball - baseball as distinguished from softball
baseball, baseball game - a ball game played with a bat and ball between two teams of nine players; teams take turns at bat trying to score runs; "he played baseball in high school"; "there was a baseball game on every empty lot"; "there was a desire for National League ball in the area"; "play ball!"
softball game, softball - a game closely resembling baseball that is played on a smaller diamond and with a ball that is larger and softer


[ˈhɑːrdbɔːl] n
to play hardball (= get tough) → employer les grands moyenshard-bitten [ˌhɑːrdˈbɪtən] adj (= tough) [journalist, soldier, detective] → endurci(e)
References in periodicals archive ?
TV and sports presenter Ore Oduba will host a brand new gameshow called Hardball, the BBC has announced.
West Brom rejected a PS10m bid from Leicester earlier this summer and will play hardball with City, who are not used to being rebuffed.
RICHARD Garlick claimed West Brom have not missed out on transfer targets despite the club's hardball stance on agents' fees.
MANCHESTER UNITED will struggle to get their money back on David De Gea after being warned that Real Madrid are ready to play hardball over the Spanish keeper.
One 230-grain hardball round is going to generate as much "kick" as any other .
SMALL businesses that are afraid to play hardball with late-paying clients run the risk of becoming victims of the recession, according to a local tax and accountancy specialist.
They have proved the most successful team in Liverpool with 18 victories from 21 matches, and have triumphed in the Catholic Hardball Cup, Liverpool Hardball League (shared), the Liverpool Robins Shield and Asda Kwik Cricket trophy.
Now it seems he's been let off the leash, as Hardball bundles in three more sporting adventures for this little creature in addition to the classic arcade mode.
Hardball innovators use technology innovation to create unassailable competitive advantage.
But the Religious Right leaders of the Arlington Group are playing hardball politics and have cast aside concerns about the economic well-being of citizens reliant on Social Security in order to score a big political victory--passage of a constitutional amendment to prevent legal recognition of gay marriage.
Writing about the meeting in the San Francisco Chronicle, Henderson said that he "counted 13 questions from the military officers and one faculty colleague [and] 12 were hardball questions that challenged Gonzalez's expansive claims for presidential power.