Pronunciation: (härd'boild'),[key] —adj. 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.