(as) tough as an old boot

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(as) tough as an old boot

1. Having great physical strength, health, or resilience. Marty has played in 500 straight games, and he's still going strong. That guy's tough as an old boot. Bert is as tough as an old boot, so he'll have no trouble helping you move all this furniture! A: "Can you believe Grandma is still rowing at 87?" B: "I know, she's tough as an old boot."
2. Having a very tough, leathery texture or consistency (as of meat). This steak is as tough as an old boot—I can barely even cut through it with a knife! That chicken's going to end up tough as an old boot if you leave it in the oven any longer. I really hope Aunt Ethel isn't making the Thanksgiving turkey this year—last time, it was tough as an old boot.
3. Resistant to emotional reactions or displays. Our aunt is as tough as an old boot, so we asked her to give the eulogy, knowing that she's the only one who could do it without crying. I can't believe Uncle Stu cried at that movie. I've always known him to be tough as an old boot! Haven't we moved past the stereotype that men have to be tough as an old boot? Personally, I find emotional vulnerability very attractive.
4. Determined, resolute, or inflexible. You'll never get Rich to change his opinion—he's as tough as an old boot when it comes to politics. Without fail, my toddler becomes an old boot any time he doesn't get what he wants. My days are full of tantrums anymore. Larry is tough as an old boot once he sets his sights on something, so good luck getting him to change course now.
See also: an, boot, old, tough
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*tough as an old boot

 and *tough as old (shoe) leather 
1. [of meat] very tough. (*Also: as ~.) This meat is tough as an old boot. Bob couldn't eat the steak. It was as tough as an old boot.
2. [of someone] very strong willed. (*Also: as ~.) When Brian was lost in the mountains, his friends did not fear for him; they knew he was tough as leather. My English teacher was as tough as an old boot.
3. [of someone] not easily moved by feelings such as pity. (*Also: as ~.) She doesn't care. She's as tough as old shoe leather. He was born tough as an old boot and has only grown more rigid.
See also: an, boot, old, tough
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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