tough break(redirected from tough breaks)
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!
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.
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]
n. a bit of bad luck. You’ve had a lot of tough breaks lately.