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1. slang Having little to no money. I get paid next week, so can we go out to dinner then? I'm just hard up right now.
2. slang Lonely and thus apt to accept questionable friends or lovers. You must be hard up for friends if you're spending time with those losers.
3. slang In need of drugs or alcohol. Don't give him any money—I just know he's hard up for drugs.
4. slang Intoxicated. Do you remember last night at the pub at all? You were hard up!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
hard up (for something)
greatly in need of something, especially money. Ann was hard up for cash to pay the bills. I was so hard up, I couldn't afford to buy food.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
In need, poor, as in Unemployment is rising and many families are hard up, or With widespread emigration, Russia is finding itself hard up for scientists and other professional people . [Colloquial; early 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. mod. alcohol intoxicated. After a couple of six packs, Willy found himself a little hard up.
2. mod. in need of drugs or alcohol. The old hobo was hard up for a drink.
3. mod. desperate for companionship. Mary must be hard up to date a jerk like that.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
In need; poor.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.