hard-nosed


adjective Informal.

  1. hardheaded or tough; unsentimentally practical: a hard-nosed labor leader.

adjective

  1. informal tough, shrewd, and practical
adj.

“stubborn,” 1927, from hard + nose (n.). Earlier of bullets or shells with hard tips, and of dogs that had difficulty following a scent. Not in common use before 1950s, when it begins to be used of tough or relentless characters generally (Damon Runyon characters, U.S. Marines, Princeton professors, etc.). Soft-nosed seems to have been used only of bullets.

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