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[pak-i-durm] /ˈpæk ɪˌdɜrm/
any of the thick-skinned, nonruminant ungulates, as the elephant, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros.
an elephant.
a person who is not sensitive to criticism, ridicule, etc.; a thick-skinned person.
Origin of pachyderm
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for pachydermic
Historical Examples
  • Our blundering political system is pachydermic in its irresponsiveness.

    A Preface to Politics Walter Lippmann
  • Perhaps the pachydermic Beef's grim attitude unnerved the wonderful Bob Forsythe, for he passed that elephantine youth.

    T. Haviland Hicks Senior J. Raymond Elderdice
British Dictionary definitions for pachydermic


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 pachydermic



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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pachydermic in Science
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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