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Mistreated or abused; cheated; dejected. Often preceded by "feel." The company paid Steve a generous severance package after firing him, but he still claims he was hard done-by. I don't think you have a right to feel hard done-by since you received the same level of assessment as everyone else!
See also: hard
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
hard done byBRITISH
COMMON If you are hard done by, you have been treated unfairly. Those who felt hard done by made their dissatisfaction clear. He really felt they'd been hard done by, and he would have liked to help them. Note: You can use hard-done-by before a noun to describe someone who has been treated unfairly. Sibley plays the role of the hard-done-by husband.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012