tough cookie meaning, tough cookie definition | English Cobuild dictionary

Collins

tough cookie  

     ( tough cookies    plural  ) If you describe someone as a tough cookie, you mean that they are unemotional and are not easily hurt by what people say or do.      n-count  
Translation English - Cobuild Collins Dictionary  
Collins
cookie     ( cookies    plural  )
1       n-count   A cookie is a sweet biscuit.  
  (mainly AM)  
2    If you say that someone is a tough cookie, you mean that they have a strong and determined character.  
INFORMAL  
tough cookie             phrase   N inflects  
3       n-count   A cookie is a piece of computer software which enables a website you have visited to recognize you if you visit it again.     (COMPUTING)  

Translation English - Cobuild Collins Dictionary  

Collins
tough     ( tougher    comparative)   ( toughest    superlative)   ( toughs    plural  )
1       adj   A tough person is strong and determined, and can tolerate difficulty or suffering.  
He built up a reputation as a tough businessman..., She is tough and ambitious.     
  toughness      n-uncount  
Mrs Potter has won a reputation for toughness and determination on her way to the top.     
2       adj   If you describe someone as tough, you mean that they are rough and violent.  
He had shot three people dead earning himself a reputation as a tough guy.     
      A tough is a tough person., n-count  
Three burly toughs elbowed their way to the front.     
3       adj   A tough place or area is considered to have a lot of crime and violence.  
usu ADJ n   (=rough)  
She doesn't seem cut out for this tough neighbourhood...     
4       adj   A tough way of life or period of time is difficult or full of suffering.  
usu ADJ n   (=rough)  
He was having a really tough time at work.     
5       adj   A tough task or problem is difficult to do or solve.  
oft it v-link ADJ to-inf, ADJ to-inf   (=hard)  
It was a very tough decision but we feel we made the right one...     
6       adj   Tough policies or actions are strict and firm.   (=strong)  
He is known for taking a tough line on security...     
7       adj   A tough substance is strong, and difficult to break, cut, or tear.  
In industry, diamond can form a tough, non-corrosive coating for tools.     
8       adj   Tough meat is difficult to cut and chew.  
The steak was tough and the peas were like bullets.     
9    If someone who is trying to achieve something hangs tough, they remain determined and do not give up, even when there are difficulties or problems.  
  (AM)  
INFORMAL  
hang tough      phrase   V inflects  
The White House is hanging tough for a good agreement to be reached.     


tough cookie        ( tough cookies    plural  ) If you describe someone as a tough cookie, you mean that they are unemotional and are not easily hurt by what people say or do.      n-count  
tough love     
Tough love is the practice of being very strict with a relative or friend who has an addiction or other problem in order to help them overcome the problem.      n-uncount  
...the activities of black communities in identifying their own law-breaking youths and then administering tough love.     

Translation English - Cobuild Collins Dictionary  

Collins

tough  


      adj  
1    cohesive, durable, firm, hard, inflexible, leathery, resilient, resistant, rigid, rugged, solid, stiff, strong, sturdy, tenacious  
2    brawny, fit, hard as nails, hardened, hardy, resilient, seasoned, stalwart, stout, strapping, strong, sturdy, vigorous  
3    hard-bitten, pugnacious, rough, ruffianly, ruthless, vicious, violent  
4    adamant, callous, exacting, firm, hard, hard-boiled     (informal)   hard-nosed     (informal)   inflexible, intractable, merciless, obdurate, obstinate, refractory, resolute, severe, stern, strict, stubborn, unbending, unforgiving, unyielding  
5    arduous, baffling, difficult, exacting, exhausting, hard, intractable, irksome, knotty, laborious, perplexing, puzzling, strenuous, thorny, troublesome, uphill  
6      (informal)   bad, hard cheese     (Brit. slang)   hard lines     (Brit. informal)   hard luck, lamentable, regrettable, too bad     (informal)   unfortunate, unlucky  
      n  
7    bravo, bruiser     (informal)   brute, bully, bully boy, heavy     (slang)   hooligan, rough     (informal)   roughneck     (slang)   rowdy, ruffian, thug, tsotsi     (S. African)  
  
Antonyms     
  
1    delicate, flexible, flimsy, fragile, soft, tender, weak  
2    delicate, soft, weak  
3    civilized, gentle, humane, soft, tender  
4    accommodating, benign, compassionate, considerate, easy, flexible, gentle, humane, indulgent, kind, lenient, merciful, mild, soft, sympathetic, tender, unexacting  
5    easy, easy-peasy     (slang)   unexacting  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

one tough cookie exp.
generally, an endearment expression used to describe someone who, contrary to the appearances, proves to have strength, determination

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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"