Alternative formsEdit


tough nut to crack (plural tough nuts to crack)

  1. Used other than as an idiom: see tough,‎ nut,‎ crack.
  2. (idiomatic) A problem that is challenging to solve.
  3. (idiomatic, by extension) A situation, person, group, etc. which is difficult to deal with.
  4. (idiomatic) A place, opportunity, etc. to which it is difficult to gain entry.
  5. An amount that is difficult to finance.

Usage notesEdit

  • Tough/er/est nut to crack is by far the most common form in COCA (US), about equal to hard/er/est nut to crack at BNC (UK).