from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n.pl. Informal The practical experiences of life, including hardships and disappointments: "He hadn't grown up in the school of hard knocks. Politically he had lived an easy life” ( Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr.)
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a state of misfortune or affliction
Sorry, no etymologies found.
To an observer watching from fifty feet away, the sight of Yelena Berezhnaya’s slight frame taking some hard knocks is alarming.
– As we were riding yesterday along the banks of the Tchernaya, we could not but remark the vast herds of cattle grazing by the stream, and we compared them with our own starved, over-driven, cruelly used beasts, with broken tails, and bleeding from hard knocks and blows.
At the tail of his detachment came the Count of Soissons and my Lord Peter of Noville, whom they use to call "Cater," who had suffered many hard knocks that day.
But David Hawkins knows that the "Golden Rule" is not to be applied when dealing with Irish thugs; hard knocks are the only commodities
Military tastes in the royal lad have been developed by the games and pastimes in which he and his brothers were encouraged to indulge; hence, in the grounds of the Bellevue Palace at Berlin, as well as in a corner of the great park of the Neues Palais at Potsdam, the boys constructed full-fledged forts with water-filled moats, and cleverly constructed bastions, which were stormed from time to time in due form, and being defended with the utmost tenacity, hard knocks were ofttimes given and received.