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pachyderm

[pak-i-durm] /ˈpæk ɪˌdɜrm/
noun
1.
any of the thick-skinned, nonruminant ungulates, as the elephant, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros.
2.
an elephant.
3.
a person who is not sensitive to criticism, ridicule, etc.; a thick-skinned person.
Origin of pachyderm
1830-1840
1830-40; < New Latin Pachyderma, assumed singular of Pachydermata (plural) obsolete order name < Greek pachý(s) thick + -dérmata, neuter plural of -dermatos -skinned, adj. derivative of dermat-, stem of dérma skin, derma1
Related forms
pachydermal, pachydermous, pachydermic, pachydermoid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pachyderm
Historical Examples
  • Are you going among elephants, Flix, and don't know what a pachyderm is?

    Across India Oliver Optic
  • "It is a pachyderm—consequently, a relation of the pig," answered my friend.

  • The admirable qualities of the pachyderm may have been bestowed upon some authors—but not on this one.

  • She's a pachyderm and she's a pig; and, if she keeps on, she'll drag her husband to her level.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
  • The words ought to have scorched him, pachyderm though he was.

    T. Tembarom Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • A little more of the pachyderm would help me in this respect.

  • It had not been a delicate negotiation, because Mrs. Cole-Mortimer had the skin of a pachyderm.

    The Angel of Terror Edgar Wallace
  • "He needn't be, perched on the top of the pachyderm," answered Scott.

    Across India Oliver Optic
  • This pachyderm and Rhinoceros tichorhinus are cited as characterising the loess in various parts of the valley of the Rhine.

  • All of them had heard that an ordinary leaden bullet will not penetrate the tough thick skin of the great “pachyderm.”

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for pachyderm

pachyderm

/ˈpækɪˌdɜːm/
noun
1.
any very large thick-skinned mammal, such as an elephant, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus
Derived Forms
pachydermatous, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from French pachyderme, from Greek pakhudermos thick-skinned, from pakhus thick + derma skin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pachyderm
n.

1838, from French pachyderme (c.1600), adopted as a biological term 1797 by French naturalist Georges Léopole Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier (1769-1832), from Greek pachydermos "thick-skinned," from pachys "thick, large, massive," from PIE *bhengh- "thick, fat" (cf. Sanskrit bahu- "much, numerous" Avestan bazah- "height, depth," Hittite pankush "large," Old Norse bingr "heap," Old High German bungo "a bulb," Lithuanian biess "thick") + derma "skin" (see derma).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pachyderm in Science
pachyderm
  (pāk'ĭ-dûrm')   
Any of various large, thick-skinned mammals, such as the elephant, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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