If something is a hardship, it causes suffering or unpleasantness. After all the hardship you endured while training for the marathon, you really hope that you’ll do well — or at least finish!

The word hard in hardship is a tip-off to its meaning: something that’s a hardship is hard. It could be hard work that you do for a larger goal — like training for the marathon — or it could be a situation that’s hard to endure. If you lose your job, you could end up experiencing financial hardship. Sometimes a hardship is something that just happens, like the hardship people suffer following a disaster.

Definitions of hardship

n something hard to endure

asperity, grimness, rigor, rigorousness, rigour, rigourousness, severeness, severity
the quality (as of scenery) being grim and gloomy and forbidding
Type of:
difficultness, difficulty
the quality of being difficult

n something that causes or entails suffering

“"I cannot think it a hardship that more indulgence is allowed to men than to women"- James Boswell”
“the many hardships of frontier life”
Type of:
bad luck, misfortune
unnecessary and unforeseen trouble resulting from an unfortunate event

n a state of misfortune or affliction

“a life of hardship
adversity, hard knocks
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lack of prosperity or happiness or health
catastrophe, disaster
a state of extreme (usually irremediable) ruin and misfortune
an extreme condition or state (especially of adversity or disease)
a state of adversity (danger or affliction or need)
a state of great suffering and distress due to adversity
adversity resulting from being made a victim
low-water mark, nadir
an extreme state of adversity; the lowest point of anything
miserableness, misery, wretchedness
a state of ill-being due to affliction or misfortune
extreme distress of body or mind
bitter end
the final extremity (however unpleasant it may be)
an oppressive condition of physical or mental or social or economic distress
hard or painful trouble or struggle
cross, crown of thorns
any affliction that causes great suffering
Type of:
bad luck, ill luck, misfortune, tough luck
an unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes

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