Hard and Fast Meaning, Synonyms, and Examples

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hard and fast meaning

The idiom “Hard and Fast” means not to be changed or modified. It generally refers to a set of rules that are fixed and should not be violated under any circumstances. Despite its meaning, this phrase is almost always used in the opposite sense: telling people there are “no hard-and-fast rules to do something”.

This expression originated in the second half of the 19th century. Originally a nautical term (related to sea voyages), it was used to describe whether the ship was touching the ground beneath shallow waters or was in a dry dock. A hard and fast ship meant it was beached and could not move.

Also Read: 150 Common: Difficult Idioms with Examples

Usage With Examples

Here are a few ways to use the idiom “Hard and Fast”:

  1. There are no hard and fast rules for writing a good blog post, but you should always keep your audience in mind.
  2. She was looking for a hard and fast answer, but he could only give her vague suggestions.
  3. The deadline for the project is hard and fast, so you better finish it on time.

Hard and Fast: Synonyms and Similar Words 

Some phrases that are similar in meaning to the idiom “hard and fast” are:

  1. Set in stone
  2. Clear-cut
  3. Non-negotiable
  4. Rigid
  5. Firm

Also Read: Barking Up the Wrong Tree Meaning, Synonyms, Examples

Hard and Fast Meaning Quiz

Choose the sentence that uses the idiom “hard and fast” correctly:

A) He was hard and fast asleep when the alarm went off. 

B) She had a hard and fast decision to make between the two options. 

C) They followed the hard and fast guidelines for the project. 

D) He ran hard and fast to catch the bus.

Correct answer: C) They followed the hard and fast guidelines for the project.

So this was all about the idiom “Hard and Fast”, its usage, and other synonyms. If you want to know more idioms like this, do check out our Learn English page today. Happy Learning!

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