1. a period of difficulties or hardship.
2. Slang.time actually served in a prison or other penal institution: He had merely been fined before, but now was sentenced to 90 days' hard time in the county jail.
3. give a hard time, Informal.to bother, annoy, or harass: He gave me a hard time about the money I owe him.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.