be hard put to (do something)

be hard put to (do something)

To be struggling to do or accomplish something, especially because it seems impossible. You'll be hard put to find a better guy than Bill. Come on—if we don't leave soon, we'll be hard put to get there on time.
See also: hard, put

hard put, be

Find something very difficult, as in The show was so bad that I was hard put to conceal my dismay, or Manufacturers will be hard put to meet the new standards. [c. 1700]
See also: hard

be hard put (to it) to

find it very difficult to.
2001 Marc Blake 24 Karat Schmooze He wore an Armani suit with a navy shirt, a club tie (although the vintners would have been hard put to name the actual club) and a Freemasonry pin.
See also: hard, put