• Tough love is love or concern that is expressed in a strict way especially to make someone behave responsibly.
  • A method of helping someone to change their behaviour by treating them in a very severe way.
  • Harsh treatment of someone to promote responsible behaviour.

1. My parents always practiced tough love with me and my brothers.


2. Our company executives can be harsh at times because they are said to have a “tough love” approach.


3. Some trainers swear by the tough love technique when training their puppies.


4. My thoughts on tough love is that it hurts the giver far more than the receiver.

austere, authoritarian, dead set on, hardline, harsh, inflexible, intractable, merciless, obstinate, relentless, resilient, resolute, rigid, ruthless, severe, solid, strict, stringent, steadfast, stern, tough, unbending, uncompromising, unforgiving, unrelenting, unwavering, unyielding

Try this expression!

A tough cookie

  • A tough cookie is someone who is very determined to do what they want and who usually succeeds even in difficult situations.
  • Someone who will do everything necessary to achieve what they want.
  • A person who is difficult to deal with.

1. Sue is a tough cookie. I’ve worked with her for the past 10 years and she can handle anything.


2. Every Thursday, a tough cookie named Joe comes into our bakery to complain.


3. She seems like one tough cookie, raising three children all on her own.


4. Jordan, you’re a tough cookie but don’t think for a second that I couldn’t handle you.

decisive, determined, driven, foolhardy, hard-nosed, headstrong, obstinate, persistent, practical, pragmatic, rational, resolved, self-willed, sensible, serious, shrewd, sober, strong-minded, tough, uncompromising, unsentimental, unyielding, willful

Do more harm than good

To do more harm than good means to have a bad effect rather than a good one. To make a situation worse rather than better. To be damaging rather than helpful. 1. I'm sorry but saying anything at this point may do more harm than good. 2. Her boyfriend is doing more...

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Do the unthinkable

To do the unthinkable means to do something unexpected. Impossible to imagine; inconceivable. Unreasonable; improbable; not to be considered; out of the question. 1. This store is doing the unthinkable and making their products more affordable. 2. Skateboarding isn't...

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Drop something like a hot potato

To drop someone/something like a hot potato means to disassociate oneself with someone or something instantly. To discontinue; to get rid of very quickly. To quickly stop being involved with someone/something. 1. I dropped the idea like a hot potato because my boss...

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