be/get tough

get tough (with someone)

to become firm with someone; to use physical force against someone. The teacher had to get tough with the class because the students were acting badly. I've tried nicely to get you to behave, but it looks like I'll have to get tough and really punish you.
See also: get, tough

be/get ˈtough (on/with somebody)

be strict with somebody whose behaviour you do not like; be ready to punish somebody: It’s time to get tough with football tough on crime
See also: get, tough
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