tough·​ie | \ ˈtə-fē How to pronounce toughie (audio) \
variants: or less commonly toughy
plural toughies

Definition of toughie

: one that is tough: such as
a : a difficult problem or question
b : a loud rough rowdy person

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of toughie in a Sentence

The last question on the test was a toughie. He thinks he's a real toughie.
Recent Examples on the Web Extra time may be spent looking for that toughie that was present just a few days ago. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Two area Christmas bird counts planned for this weekend | Charlotte Observer," 15 Dec. 2017 The surprises come from Rachel McAdams, who holds her own as a wise-cracking toughie, and Peña, who defrosts from macho pride mode with low-key grace. Hugh Hart, WIRED, "Movies: In Theaters This Week (Oct. 31)," 29 Oct. 2008 Another cold-weather toughie is Alaska's red flat bark beetle, which, under lab conditions, can survive cooling down to minus 238 degrees Fahrenheit. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "A Frog That Freezes and Thaws, Plus More Ways Animals Cope With Cold," 10 Dec. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'toughie.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of toughie

1921, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about toughie

Time Traveler for toughie

Time Traveler

The first known use of toughie was in 1921

See more words from the same year

Statistics for toughie

Cite this Entry

“Toughie.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for toughie


How to pronounce toughie (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of toughie

: a difficult problem or question
: a tough person : a strong person who is not afraid

More from Merriam-Webster on toughie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toughie

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toughie

Comments on toughie

What made you want to look up toughie? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!