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I am trying to find the right definition of "hard" in this piece of writing:

newspaper
Looking for a tranquil hideaway after years as a paparazzi magnet, Mr. Frazier bought the single-level home on a one-acre property for $215,000 in 1979, while visiting St. Croix with his 12-year-old son, Walter III. He was shopping for a condominium, but instead fell hard for a house on hilly terrain with four tentacle-like columns that reminded him of a space ship.

There are many definitions for "hard" What does "hard" in "fell hard for" mean in this particular situation?

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This would be a better question on the sister site for English Language Learners, I think, as the meaning of this phrase is just about self-evident for a native speaker or serious linguist, but I can understand why it might puzzle a non-native. –  J.R. Mar 1 '13 at 18:27
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1 Answer

Fall for:

informal
1 fall in love with:

Hard:

5 very potent, powerful, or intense

Putting them together, fell hard for would mean that Mr. Frazier fell intensely in love with the house which reminded him of a space ship.

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Falling in love--a typically Western notion that is quite foreign to some non-Western cultures--is analogous to falling physically. Both kinds can make you feel awkward, can come unexpectedly, can involve a feeling of disequillibration, can engender unique and hard-to-explain--yet sometimes pleasant--feelings. (Recall a dream you've had in which you were falling, and the subsequent "rush" you felt.) As for the "hard" part of falling in love, as coleopterist points out, "hard" denotes an intensity of feeling, whether pain from simply falling down (Ouch!) or pleasure from falling in love. –  rhetorician Mar 1 '13 at 18:37
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@rhetorician Well put. Sounds like you've had some practice :) –  coleopterist Mar 1 '13 at 18:46
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