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1.
A tough, straightforward, take-no-prisoners way of carrying oneself. Hard-nosed people may not be sensitive or tactful, but they are gritty and tackle problems head-on.
Person 1: Heard about some guy named Collin Klein today, apparently he's in the Heisman race..?

Person 2: Yeah bro, he's the quarterback for K-state. That kid plays old school hard-nosed football.

OR

Marine 1: You hear about the gunny sarge? He took a bullet to the leg and didn't even notice. Wiped out the whole sniper nest by himself.

Marine 2: That hard-nosed SOB.
by FisherofMen October 20, 2012
 
2.
To have a hard nose and punch people in their eye and make them cry like little girls
I am so Hard Nosed, I've already killed eight people
by C cab December 14, 2008