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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!
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.
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]
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.
In need; poor.