"You want to go to the party with me?" "No, I'll take a hard pass."

What does hard pass mean here? If the person said "No. I'll take a pass on that."

I looked up some definitions of it, it says on those sites it means to decline a proposal. I was just wondering if you can use hard pass the same way you use pass, like "I'll take a hard pass on that."

1 Answer 1


Taking a hard pass is slang for saying absolutely no.

I have a harder time finding "take a pass" honestly, but I think this is because the meaning is more commonly phrased "I'll pass." So my idea is that taking a pass is just saying no, while taking a hard pass is a strong no.

  • 1
    I've heard (and said) "I'll take a pass." It's just a more embellished way of saying "I'll pass." With "hard pass," though, you really need the "take a ~" construction. Btw, I've also heard it as "hard no" a lot of times, but then you take the personal subject out of the sentence: "That's gonna be a hard no."
    – spoko
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 12:18
  • I think the principle is that when you pass, you're saying "Skip me over and maybe ask me again later" whereas a hard pass is more like "Skip me and don't come back to ask again"
    – Richard
    Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 19:23
  • 2
    "Hard pass" means basically "Oh Hell No". I often hear it when the thing is basically beyond being contemplated. Would you like to be associated with our organization? (Organization being, say, Westboro Baptist Church). Hard pass, bro.
    – Warren P
    Commented Sep 3, 2019 at 23:01
  • @WarrenP Excellent example. XD
    – Neil
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 6:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .