The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Tough \Tough\, a. [Compar. Tougher; superl. Toughest.] [OE.
tough, AS. t[=o]h, akin to D. taai, LG. taa, tage, tau, OHG.
z[=a]hi, G. z[aum]he, and also to AS. getenge near to, close
to, oppressive, OS. bitengi.]
1. Having the quality of flexibility without brittleness;
yielding to force without breaking; capable of resisting
great strain; as, the ligaments of animals are remarkably
tough. "Tough roots and stubs. " --Milton.
2. Not easily broken; able to endure hardship; firm; strong;
-- of objects and people; as, tough sinews. --Cowper.
A body made of brass, the crone demands, . . .
Tough to the last, and with no toil to tire.
The basis of his character was caution combined with
tough tenacity of purpose. --J. A.
3. Not easily separated; viscous; clammy; tenacious; as,
4. Stiff; rigid; not flexible; stubborn; as, a tough bow.
So tough a frame she could not bend. --Dryden.
5. Severe; violent; as, a tough storm. [Colloq.] " A tough
debate. " --Fuller.
6. Difficult to do, perform, or accomplish; as, a tough job.
7. Prone to aggressive or violent behavior; rowdyish; -- of
people, or groups; as, a tough neighborhood; a tough
To make it tough, to make it a matter of difficulty; to
make it a hard matter. [Obs.] --Chaucer.