Definition of pachyderm
: any of various nonruminant mammals (such as an elephant, a rhinoceros, or a hippopotamus) of a former group (Pachydermata) that have hooves or nails resembling hooves and usually thick skin; especially : elephant
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Recent Examples of pachyderm from the Web
Elephant figurines, including a pachyderm piggy bank, perch on tables and shelves.
The pachyderms take the path of least resistance and keep out.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pachyderm'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Pachydermos in Greek means literally "having thick skin" (figuratively, it means "dull" or "stupid"). It's from pachys, meaning "thick," and derma, meaning "skin." In the late 1700s the French naturalist Georges Cuvier adapted the Greek term as pachyderme and used it for any one of a whole assemblage of hoofed animals having thickish skin: elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, tapirs, horses, pigs, and more. English speakers learned the word from French in the early 1800s. The adjective pachydermatous means "of or relating to the pachyderms" or "thickened" (referring to skin). Not too surprisingly, it also means "callous" or "insensitive" (somewhat unfairly to elephants, which are actually known to be rather sensitive).
PACHYDERM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pachyderm for English Language Learners
: a type of animal that has hooves and thick skin
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