hard and fast


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hard and fast

Strictly or rigidly adhered to; strong, binding, and clearly defined. Used especially to describe rules. I have some hard and fast rules in my company; break them, and you're out of here. The duties you're responsible for are hard and fast, so don't become lax in your role.
See also: and, fast, hard

hard and fast

Defined, fixed, invariable, as in We have hard and fast rules for this procedure. This term originally was applied to a vessel that has come out of water, either by running aground or being put in dry dock, and is therefore unable to move. By the mid-1800s it was being used figuratively.
See also: and, fast, hard

hard and fast

Defined, fixed, and invariable: hard and fast rules.
See also: and, fast, hard
References in classic literature ?
Then it came in upon my mind that this was all his sorrow at my departure; and my conscience smote me hard and fast, because I, for my part, was overjoyed to get away out of that quiet country-side, and go to a great, busy house, among rich and respected gentlefolk of my own name and blood.
Occasionally, a vocal strain more sonorous than the generality informed the listener that some boastful bass was in blue water, or in the hunting field, or with the reindeer, or on the mountain, or among the heather; but the Marshal of the Marshalsea knew better, and had got him hard and fast.
Cod, yer may thanks yer stars I've got a head; for if we hadn't gone, at first, the wrong road a purpose, and come back across country, yer'd have been locked up hard and fast a week ago, my lady.
The lady stepped lightly aside, and snatching the young man's sword from his hand, before he had recovered his balance, drove him to the wall, and running it through him, and the panelling, up to the very hilt, pinned him there, hard and fast.
He shall have her, and I'll be the first man, when the knot's tied hard and fast, to tell 'em what they've gained and what I've helped 'em to.
Abundant hatches of buzzers and hawthorn bringing quality fish to the surface - be ready for hard and fast takes.