hard and fast


hard and fast


  • refers to strict, inflexible, or unyielding rules, regulations, or principles.
  • signifies a lack of leniency or exceptions and emphasizes the importance of adhering strictly to established guidelines.
  • a strong and unchanging state or condition.
  • also describe something firmly fixed, securely established, or immovable.

The idiom “hard and fast” is a useful way to describe anything fixed or unchangeable. It can be used in various contexts, from discussing rules and regulations to describing personal preferences.

Example Sentences

  1. The teacher set hard-and-fast rules about not using cell phones during class.
  2. The company has a hard-and-fast policy of no smoking.
  3. The organization has hard and fast deadlines for submitting project proposals.
  4. The project manager established hard-and-fast rules for finishing each task on time in order to meet the deadline.
  5. To ensure a fair testing environment for all students, the teacher must be hard and fast during the test.


Originating in the English language, this phrase has evolved over time to convey various meanings. The idiom “hard and fast” can be traced back to nautical terminology. It finds its roots in sailing, where “hard” refers to steering the ship’s helm fully to one side, while “fast” signifies the secure fastening of a rope or sail. This combination of “hard” and “fast” created the idiom, illustrating a sense of firmness and rigidity in relation to rules or guidelines.

Although the exact time and place of its first usage remain uncertain, the idiom was first recorded in print in the 19th century. It appeared in various nautical publications and subsequently made its way into everyday language.

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