Definition of toughie in English:



  • 1A person who is tough and determined.

    ‘she was a toughie on the phone’
    • ‘The toughies she encountered during her teaching career knew exactly where they stood with her and respected her for it.’
    • ‘All that was missing from the scene were a couple of pin-striped toughies carrying violin cases.’
    • ‘Jean-Pierre's father likes to regale me of his days as a young motorcycle toughie in the Tehran nightclubs.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that behind Goodwin's schoolboy looks lurks a toughie.’
    • ‘But I think if I were a man, I'd be a real toughie, a kind of a gruff - I'd be a man's man.’
    • ‘College students are held in low esteem, thanks to commercial movies that regularly feature youth as toughies amid free-flowing booze, drugs, and gals.’
    • ‘Flash forward to their senior year: Lucy is a brainiac virgin; Kit is an engaged, self centered snob; and Mimi is a trailer trash talking toughie who had the unfortunate luck of getting pregnant.’
    • ‘In this genre, they don't come more distinctive, and the haunchy swoop of the back end is a steroidal depiction of a toughie driving round the block.’
    • ‘When she was still in her early teens, this man who was a toughie, jumped on to the stage after her dance, brandishing a knife, and told her, ‘You have to be mine.’’
    • ‘But Bogart's iconic image as the toughie was something he could rarely escape, even off screen.’
    • ‘Monkeys who want to rule the world will be slapped down by these troublesome toughies called Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup.’
    • ‘I may be an interior designer but I am a toughie - and that's part due to my Yorkshire background, I'm sure.’
    • ‘But Australians seem to respect someone who acts like a toughie.’
    • ‘They're toughies, but they also respond to kindness.’
    • ‘While we wondered at their street-corner, street-clothed hardiness a couple of other toughies turned up.’
    • ‘You don't have to be such a toughie or one of the guys all the time you know.’
    • ‘When the going gets tough, you toughies really do get up - so make the extra effort this week to help others not fortunate enough to have been born Capricorns with some of your true grit, fortitude and soul support.’
    • ‘The toughie from Madison Wisconsin, Morel, might be a different story.’
    • ‘She's the toughie; he's the softie, leading with his heart, trying to tamp down his prim lust.’
    • ‘James Cagney was a screen toughie, but the poor guy had to dance and sing for the Academy members to take note of him.’
    ruffian, rowdy, thug, hoodlum, hooligan, brute, bully, bully boy, rough, gangster, desperado
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  • 2A difficult problem or question.

    ‘Who do you admire most? That's a toughie’
    • ‘This is a toughie to answer because I think it depends very much on the wider nature of the person involved.’
    • ‘That's a toughie, or should have been, but isn't, because difficult issues, such as paternity suits, or a grown man in an elf costume wanting to play with other people's children, are brushed under the carpet.’
    • ‘The musicals round was potentially going to be a toughie.’
    • ‘It's a toughie this one, but there's a strategically placed bench half way up!’
    • ‘Here's a toughie: yep, I'm on the rebound from a decent relationship with a decent guy who just wasn't ready to be responsible to a committed relationship.’
    • ‘Now a toughie: Why in its main business of peddling computers does this same company have so much trouble elevating its minuscule single-digit market share?’
    • ‘I know this is a toughie, but it just has to be non-negotiable.’
    • ‘That's a toughie - but here's one strong opinion of why each of the eight would win if it went toe-to-toe with the Bulldogs.’
    • ‘But some students cracked real toughies, too, without batting an eyelid.’
    • ‘That's a toughie, because there's no way to get around it - if they're fat-free, the cookies aren't so great, and you end up eating more.’
    • ‘‘Herm, that's a toughie,’ Lisa said, placing her finger on her chin, appearing to be in deep thought, contemplating all the wonders of the universe.’
    • ‘This is a toughie - you need to look at your own set of skills, experience and ability realistically to identify where your weaknesses lie and address them.’
    • ‘So it does not make sense to solve a toughie and impress the examiner (which anyway will be a computer).’
    • ‘It's a toughie but I'd have to go with the Campino.’
    • ‘That's a toughie, because they sometimes want detail.’
    • ‘Last night Darren, Drew and I went to the Retro Bar pop quiz. £97 was up for grabs so the quiz was a toughie.’
    • ‘Pubs, this is a toughie, I don't know what to suggest.’
    • ‘I know that ankle injuries are toughies to come back from, but this is getting a little extreme, isn't it?’
    • ‘It was a toughie, but we finally got it all right and enjoyed great panoramic views of the Silicon Valley and Bay below.’
    • ‘That's a toughie to get across with such limited resources.’
    difficult question, awkward problem, knotty problem, vexed question, tough one, puzzle, mystery, conundrum, puzzler, enigma, riddle
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