tough break

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tough break

1. An adverse circumstance resulting in misfortune or hardships; an instance of bad luck. John's had some tough breaks lately, between losing his job and getting in that horrible car accident just two weeks later. It was a tough break for the team who had come so close yet again to finally getting into the playoffs.
2. An interjection of mild or insincere sympathy for someone else's misfortune. A: "When my parents said I'd be getting a car for my birthday, I didn't think it would be some beat-up old van like this!" B: "Sorry, tough break pal. It's still cool that you got a car, though!" Tough break, Tom. Better luck next time!
See also: break, tough

tough break

a bit of bad fortune. I'm sorry to hear about your accident. Tough break. John had a lot of tough breaks when he was a kid, but he's doing okay now.
See also: break, tough

tough break

Also, tough luck. A trying or troublesome circumstance, bad luck, as in He got a tough break when he was denied a raise, or Tough luck for the team last night. This idiom uses tough in the sense of "difficult," a usage dating from the early 1600s. The variant is also used as a sarcastic interjection, as in So you didn't make straight A's-tough luck! A slangy variant of this interjection is tough beans, and a ruder version is tough shit. [Colloquial; c. 1900]
See also: break, tough

tough break

n. a bit of bad luck. You’ve had a lot of tough breaks lately.
See also: break, tough
References in periodicals archive ?
We harvested the green beans when they were plump but still tender; Mom allowed no stringy, tough beans.
The books used for children with IDDM included Sugar Isn't Everything by Willo Davis Roberts, Grilled Cheese at Four O'clock in the Morning and Tough Beans by Betty Bates, and Beheaded, Survived by Barbara Williams.
Tough Beans by Betty Bates What advice would you give to health care professionals?