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Hardy vs. Hearty

This article is about Hardy vs. Hearty — enjoy your reading!

  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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We all love a good stew. After letting it simmer all day in the crock pot, it becomes a delicious and filling meal that can feed a family for days. But should we call it a hearty meal or a hardy meal? Separately, should you plant hardy plants in your garden or hearty ones? These two words are easy to mix up, especially since their meanings can seem very similar if not used carefully.

Read on to discover the best contexts for these confusing adjectives.


The word hardy originated from Middle English (in the sense ‘bold, daring’): from Old French hardi, past participle of hardir ‘become bold’, of Germanic origin; related to hard.

Hardy as adjective:

Hardy is used as an adjective which means capable of enduring difficult conditions; robust.

A hardy breed of cattle is rare nowadays.

Hearty as adjective:

Hearty is also used as an adjective which means loudly vigorous and cheerful.

She is a hearty and boisterous character.

When some food is wholesome and substantial, it is also known as hearty.

Evening meals of good, hearty Swiss cooking make my day.

Hearty as noun:

Hardy vs. Hearty

Hearty is used as a noun which means a vigorously cheerful and sporty person.

Climbers and haversack-touting hearties are all gearing up.


A few hardy souls are braving the conditions today despite the blizzard affecting most of Oklahoma. [News OK]

That didn’t stop one hardy surfer from donning his wetsuit yesterday and riding the waves off Co Clare. [Irish Independent]

The hardy plant can handle some frost. [San Francisco Chronicle]

After a hearty welcome by CEO Johanna More, who explained the history and capacity of the hospital, the trio were taken on a tour of the neo-natal unit. []

When you’ve gotten tired of the same-old chili, taco-dip, hot wings menu, consider a Texas-style hearty soup for the big game. []

With the hearty approval of its 21-person board of directors, Kirtland-based Holden Arboretum is poised to deliver on its promise to make life better for its trees and visitors. [The News-Herald]

Hearty or hardy:

Hearty and hardy are both adjectives. Hardy means robust or sturdy, like a plant that is hard to kill or a champion martial artist. Hearty has many meanings, including wholesome and filling when used with regard to food, and enthusiastic and welcoming when used regarding laughter or a greeting. Hearty also has a meaning that overlaps with hardy, but in these circumstances, hardy is usually the better choice. Since hardy contains the word hard, which is its rough synonym in many contexts, you shouldn’t have much difficulty choosing that word.

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