Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


In judging his fellow-men this is Shakespeare's harshest word.

This is, as I have said, not the saddest, but certainly the harshest of his stories.

The sound of that harshest and most jarring of all musical instruments was every after hateful to her.

“Here, you, get a swab and mop that up,” I commanded in my harshest manner.

This was the harshest that my lady e'er spoke, either to me or to Marian.

Out of it there came the harshest sounds that had ever been heard on the farm.

I think that means, if it proves that she has deserved the harshest punishment.

And the harshest critics the motion pictures have are the people who work in them.

Juvenal is the harshest and most violent of the four great Roman satirists.

What he received was the harshest punishment Parliament could devise.


originally of texture, "hairy," 1530s, probably from harske "rough, coarse, sour" (c.1300), a northern word of Scandinavian origin (cf. Danish and Norwegian harsk "rancid, rank"), related to Middle Low German harsch "rough, raw," German harst "a rake;" perhaps from PIE root *kars- "to scrape, scratch, rub, card" (cf. Lithuanian karsiu "to comb," Old Church Slavonic krasta, Russian korosta "to itch," Latin carduus "thistle," Sanskrit kasati "rubs, scratches"). Meaning "offensive to feelings" is from 1570s; "disagreeable, rude" from 1610s.