do something the hard way

do (something) the hard way

To do something by using the most challenging method, or at least not the easiest method. Of course he crawled in though the window instead of just opening the unlocked back door—he has to do everything the hard way.
See also: hard, way
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

do something the hard way

COMMON If you do something the hard way, you have difficulty doing it or it is unpleasant for you to do it, often as a result of your own actions or decisions. Anything I've achieved has been done the hard way, through a lot of hard work. Ms Lomax, we can do this the hard way or the easy way.
See also: hard, something, way
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

do/learn something the ˈhard way

learn something from experience, especially when this is unpleasant: I learned the hard way not to trust door-to-door salesmen.Why do you always do everything the hard way?
See also: hard, learn, something, way
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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