as tough as nails


      • resilient or strong
        Describe someone who is very strong, both physically and mentally, and able to endure difficult situations or challenges

      • unyielding or relentless
        Portray something or someone as unwavering, determined, and not easily influenced or changed

    Examples of as tough as nails

    • The construction worker hammered nails into the wooden frame with such force that her hands shook. Her determination to complete the task was as tough as nails.

      This idiom means that the woman's strength and persistence were as unyielding as nails. Even though the process was difficult, she remained steadfast in completing the task.

    • The CEO's negotiation skills were as tough as nails. She refused to budge on critical points, and her unwavering stance earned her the respect of her peers.

      This idiom is used to describe someone's negotiating skills as being as strong and unyielding as nails. Just like nails don't bend or budge, the CEO's stance during negotiations was unwavering and earned her respect.

    • The athlete's training routine was as tough as nails. She woke up every morning at 4 am to go for a run, followed by a grueling workout session at the gym.

      This idiom means that the athlete's training routine was incredibly difficult and rigorous, much like the strength and durability of nails. Despite the challenges, she persisted in her routine to build her physical strength and stamina.

    • The project manager's deadline for the project was as tough as nails. The team had to work overtime for weeks to meet the deadline, which was a significant challenge but ultimately worth it.

      This idiom is used to describe a project deadline's toughness as being as unyielding as nails. The project manager's unwavering stance on the deadline pushed the team to work hard and deliver the project on time, even when it was a significant challenge.

    • Sarah has been working tirelessly on this project for weeks, and she's as tough as nails when it comes to completing it on time and with top-notch quality.

      The expression "as tough as nails" refers to someone's unyielding determination, grit, and resilience. Here, it's implying that Sarah has exhibited her iron-willed characteristic to overcome any obstacles that hindered her work's successful completion, much like how nails are rugged and tough materials.

    • The housing market in this region has been very tough, comparable to nails that are hard to drive into a wooden plank.

      This usage is figurative, and it highlights the challenging nature of the housing market, especially in that region, where it's incredibly difficult to navigate and find the right property at a reasonable price, much like how driving nails into hardwood can be an uphill task.

    • Brad desperately tried to convince the jury that the evidence was false, but the prosecutor was as tough as nails when he counterargued, leaving Brad with no avenue to defend himself.

      The metaphor "as tough as nails" indicates that the prosecutor was incredibly persuasive, convincing, and assertive in his evidence defense. It's describing the prosecutor's unwavering confidence and composure while facing challenging situations or opposition, much like how nails retain their shape and hardness when put under pressure.

    • The company's CEO was as tough as nails when he announced the company's bankruptcy, reassuring the employees that a new venture would be initiated soon, and the company will bounce back stronger than before.

      This idiom usage is a paradox, and it's contradictory as the individual's situation is not quite favorable, but the speaker's tone and demeanor suggest otherwise, much like how nails may appear fragile, but they stay sturdy and uncompromising when put under duress.


    The idiom "as tough as nails" is commonly used to describe individuals who possess great strength, resilience, or determination. It can refer to physical toughness, mental fortitude, or an unyielding attitude towards challenges. When someone is described as "as tough as nails," it implies that they are strong-willed, unflinching in the face of adversity, and difficult to break or defeat. This idiom is often used in a complimentary manner to praise someone's ability to persevere or withstand difficulties.

    In everyday conversations, "as tough as nails" can be applied to people, situations, or even objects that exhibit exceptional strength or durability. Whether referring to a person's physical endurance, mental toughness, or unwavering resolve, this idiom paints a vivid picture of resilience and fortitude. It is a powerful way to convey admiration for someone's ability to overcome challenges or stay steadfast in their beliefs.

    Origin of "as tough as nails"

    The origin of the idiom "as tough as nails" can be traced back to the literal meaning of nails as strong, durable fasteners used in construction and carpentry. Nails, especially those made of iron or steel, are known for their toughness and ability to hold things together firmly. This association with strength and resilience likely led to the metaphorical use of nails in describing individuals or qualities that exhibit similar characteristics.

    Over time, the idiom "as tough as nails" has become a popular way to express the idea of exceptional toughness or resilience in various contexts. It has evolved to encompass not just physical strength but also mental fortitude and unwavering determination. The enduring nature of nails as sturdy fasteners has made them a fitting symbol for describing people who possess similar qualities of toughness and unyielding resolve.