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Earning a bare subsistence, as on the land; marginal: the sharecropper's hardscrabble life.
Barren or marginal farmland.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (modifier) (of a place) difficult to make a living in; barren
2. great effort made in the face of difficulties
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈhɑrdˌskræb əl)

providing or yielding meagerly in return for much effort: a hardscrabble existence.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.hardscrabble - barely satisfying a lower standard; "the sharecropper's hardscrabble life"
meager, meagerly, meagre, scrimpy, stingy - deficient in amount or quality or extent; "meager resources"; "meager fare"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
Its cost was to be seventy thousand dollars, which was an enormous sum in those hardscrabble days.
Law's 2012 Hardscrabble contained 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
Kennedy, his links with organized crime, and his disastrous role in prolonging and escalating the Vietnam war, the book looks at his hardscrabble upbringing and the personal demons that often threatened to overwhelm him.
This tenacious streak carried Muddy from the hardscrabble fields of Mississippi to the smoky juke joints of Chicago and finally to a recording studio where a landmark record was made.
Harold Hardscrabble is a literary novel which requires a degree of philosophical and social inspection from its readers as it presents the story of quiet Harold, who lives in a world occupied largely by his own thoughts.
Synopsis: Harold Hardscrabble is a kind of Walter Mitty figure and in this deftly crafted novel by G.
His stories offer compelling insights into the denizens of the region and their complicated, hardscrabble lives.
Simply stated, having a clear, comprehensive and consistent understanding of the competitive set is a critical foundation needed to compete effectively in the hardscrabble CPG world.
In Rhapsody in Schmaltz, he turns his attention to food, specifically the nostalgic brand of cooking served forth from the hardscrabble kitchens of Eastern Europe.
She was the first musician to pick out leads as she Strummed--the widely emulated "Carter scratch." Then there are ail the notables the family's music Inspired--from Ralph Stanley and Doc Watson to Elvis Presley and Emmylou Harris--not to mention Johnny Cash, who was saved from his addictions by his marriage to Maybelle's daughter June (the one lifting her leg in the photo).The Carters' hardscrabble story and enduring legacy are the subject of The Winding Stream, a new film from director Beth Harrington, who uses archival materials and interviews with surviving Carters and assorted musicians (including Cash, in one of his final on-camera appearances) to follow the family threads from the original trio's formation in 1927 up through the present day.
Norfolk grew up in hardscrabble neighborhoods of Saint Louis, Missouri, during the 1950s and 60s, sometimes walking to elementary school from an apartment his parents could not afford to heat.
Arid, hardscrabble landscapes could cover up to 56 percent of Earth's land surface by 2100, a new study finds.