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 ?
The score came two plays after a tough-break Chieftains' holding penalty moved the Panthers to the Nashoba 14.