(adjective, verb)


1. unpleasantly stern

- wild and harsh country full of hot sand and cactus

Similar word(s): unpleasant, rough

2. unpleasantly rough or jarring to the senses

- the harsh cry of a blue jay

- harsh cognac

- the harsh white light makes you screw up your eyes

Similar word(s): unpleasant

3. of textures that are rough to the touch or substances consisting of relatively large particles

Similar word(s): farinaceous, grainy, granular, granulose, gritty, mealy, granulated, plushy, loose, open, rough, unsmooth, coarse

4. unkind or cruel or uncivil

- had harsh words

- a harsh and unlovable old tyrant

Similar word(s): unkind, rough

5. severe

- a harsh penalty

Similar word(s): heavy

6. sharply disagreeable; rigorous

- the harsh facts of court delays

Similar word(s): disagreeable, abrasive


1. (intransitive, slang) To negatively criticize.

- Quit harshing me already, I said that I was sorry!

2. (transitive, slang) to put a damper on (a mood).

- Dude, you're harshing my buzz.