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thick skin

Insensitivity to criticism or insult, as in You can tell him exactly what you think of his new piece; unlike most composers he has a thick skin. This term transfers an impervious outer coating to mental or emotional toughness. [ Mid-1500s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Historical Examples
  • The flesh is eaten, and the thick skin is made into cups, leather bottles, and straps.

  • She rubs the soft, thick skin of her face with layers of grease.

    My Friend Annabel Lee Mary MacLane
  • thick skin is, indeed, our moral clothes, and without it we are not fit to be seen about in civilized society.

  • The pulp of the banana is covered with a thick skin, which is easily detached.

    Round Cape Horn Joseph Lamson
  • A man must have a thick skin to be able to carry off all the flummery of Highness without any feeling of shame.

    Royal Highness Thomas Mann
  • The flavor is good but the thick skin and muskiness in taste are objectionable.

    The Grapes of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • This tranquillity of spirit owed nothing to an unimpressionable mind or a thick skin.

  • Adelaide cut the oranges and lemon lengthwise into quarters, removing the seeds and thick skin at the centers.

  • The happy possessor of a thick skin can hardly understand how one not so blessed may be hurt by the thong of a little whip!

    The Prime Minister Anthony Trollope

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