a tough cookie

tough cookie

A strong, determined person who is not easily intimidated, discouraged, or defeated. Our principal was a little lady, but she was one tough cookie! She had a difficult childhood, but she's a tough cookie. I know she'll be a success.
See also: cookie, tough

a tough cookie

or

one tough cookie

If someone is a tough cookie or one tough cookie, they are confident, brave and determined. A pushover is not how I'd describe her. Behind that sweet smile, there lies a tough cookie. He has a reputation as one tough cookie.
See also: cookie, tough

a tough ˈcustomer/ˈcookie

(informal) a person who knows what they want and is not easily influenced by other people: Self-confident, ambitious and positive, Paula is a tough cookie who is bound to do well.
See also: cookie, customer, 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.