Pronunciation: (härd'boild'), [key]
1. Cookery.(of an egg) boiled in the shell long enough for the yolk and white to solidify.
2. Informal.tough; unsentimental: a hard-boiled vice-squad detective.
3. marked by a direct, clear-headed approach; realistic: a hard-boiled appraisal of the foreign situation.
4. (of detective fiction) written in a laconic, dispassionate, often ironic style for a realistic, unsentimental effect.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.