[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. pachycephalosaurus,
  2. pachycephaly,
  3. pachycheilia,
  4. pachychromatic,
  5. pachydactyly,
  6. pachyderma,
  7. pachyderma laryngis,
  8. pachyderma lymphangiectatica,
  9. pachyderma vesicae,
  10. pachydermatocele

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 formspach·y·der·mal, pach·y·der·mous, pach·y·der·mic, pach·y·der·moid, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pachydermic

  • 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


/ (ˈpækɪˌdɜːm) /


any very large thick-skinned mammal, such as an elephant, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus
Derived Formspachydermatous, adjective

Word Origin for pachyderm

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

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

Science definitions for pachydermic


[ păkĭ-dûrm′ ]

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.