pachy·​der·​ma·​tous ˌpa-ki-ˈdər-mə-təs How to pronounce pachydermatous (audio)
: of or relating to the pachyderms
: thick, thickened
pachydermatous skin

Did you know?

Elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses - it was a French zoologist named Georges Cuvier who in the late 1700s first called these and other thick-skinned, hoofed mammals Pachydermata. The word, from Greek roots, means "thick-skinned" in New Latin (the Latin used in scientific description and classification). In the 19th century, we began calling such animals pachyderms, and we also began using the adjective pachydermatous to refer, both literally and figuratively, to the characteristics and qualities of pachyderms - especially their thick skin. American poet James Russell Lowell first employed pachydermatous with the figurative "thick-skinned" sense in the mid-1800s: "A man cannot have a sensuous nature and be pachydermatous at the same time."

Examples of pachydermatous in a Sentence

a pachydermatous pop diva with little regard for punctuality or other people's schedules

Word History


ultimately from Greek pachys + dermat-, derma skin

First Known Use

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pachydermatous was in 1823


Dictionary Entries Near pachydermatous

Cite this Entry

“Pachydermatous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


pachy·​der·​ma·​tous ˌpak-i-ˈdər-mət-əs How to pronounce pachydermatous (audio)
: abnormally thickened
used especially of skin
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