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

ˌhard and ˈfast

(of rules, etc.) that cannot be changed: These regulations are not hard and fast. They can be changed by general consent.There are no hard-and-fast rules about this.
Fast in this idiom means ‘fixed’.
See also: and, fast, hard

hard and fast

Defined, fixed, and invariable: hard and fast rules.
See also: and, fast, hard

hard and fast

Describing a strict rule that cannot be altered under any circumstances. This term originally described a ship that was out of the water, either because it had run aground or because it was in dry dock, and hence could not move. In the mid-nineteenth century the term was transferred to inalterable courses of action or precepts. The OED lists an early figurative use in two different speeches given in the House of Commons in 1867: “The House has . . . determined to have no hard and fast line.”
See also: and, fast, hard