[ pak-i-durm ]
See synonyms for pachyderm on
  1. any of the thick-skinned, nonruminant ungulates, as elephants, hippopotamuses, and rhinoceroses.

  2. an elephant.

  1. a person who is not sensitive to criticism, ridicule, etc.; a thick-skinned person.

Origin of pachyderm

First recorded in 1825–30; from French pachyderme, from New Latin Pachyderma, singular of Pachydermata (plural) obsolete order name, from Greek pachý(s) “thick” + -dérmata, neuter plural of -dermatos “-skinned,” adjective derivative of dermat-, stem of dérma “skin”; see origin at derma1

Other words from pachyderm

  • pach·y·der·mal, pach·y·der·mous, pach·y·der·mic, pach·y·der·moid, adjective

Words Nearby pachyderm Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pachyderm in a sentence

  • The fuzzy pachyderm figured out how to use her trunk to grab stuff in the first week.

  • Occasionally he paused at the clink clink of the elephant irons or at the "whuff" as the uneasy pachyderm poured dust on his head.

    The Adventures of Kathlyn | Harold MacGrath
  • They were passing on silent as spectres, the tread of the ponderous pachyderm being noiseless as that of a cat.

    The Vee-Boers | Mayne Reid
  • In the first place, it is evident that we may dismiss from our minds the idea that the Behemoth was an extinct pachyderm.

    Bible Animals; | J. G. Wood
  • He had friends—yes, and they held him high—but seeming and report held him pachyderm, and they trod upon his heart.

    Stepsons of Light | Eugene Manlove Rhodes
  • Their puny pen pricks have about the same effect as mosquito bites on the pachyderm.

    The Lion and The Mouse | Charles Klein

British Dictionary definitions for pachyderm


/ (ˈpækɪˌdɜːm) /

  1. any very large thick-skinned mammal, such as an elephant, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus

Origin of pachyderm

C19: from French pachyderme, from Greek pakhudermos thick-skinned, from pakhus thick + derma skin

Derived forms of pachyderm

  • pachydermatous, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for pachyderm


[ păkĭ-dûrm′ ]

  1. Any of various large, thick-skinned mammals, such as the elephant, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.