Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hard adv.

[note George Parker, Life’s Painter (1789): ‘He went off at the fall of the leaf, at tuck ’em fair — he died d—d hard, and was as bad as brass’]

1. [19C+] to a great extent, in a zealous manner.

2. [mid-19C; 1980s+] (US black) in an aggressive, hostile manner; intensely.

3. [mid-19C–1920s] very, extremely.

4. [late 19C–1950s] in a painful, problematic manner, e.g. of a prison sentence.

In phrases

take it hard (v.)

[1930s+] (US) to react emotionally, usu. when distressed or angry.