a tough cookie

a tough cookie

  (American & Australian informal)
someone who is very determined to do what they want and who usually succeeds even in difficult situations We're talking about a woman who brought up six children on her own - she's one tough cookie.
See also: cookie, tough
References in periodicals archive ?
Brad is a tough cookie and actually tougher than people say.
The thing is," she says, "I look like a tough cookie, I sound like a tough cookie, and that's the problem, I'm sort of typecast.
One of my favourites was the Rani in Doctor Who, because she was a tough cookie par excellence.
I am a tough cookie and can fight my own corner but the trauma for me was incredible.