a tough cookie

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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 ?
When it comes to how you think of yourself, find out if you're one tough cookie or more of a marshmallow.
Putin, on the other hand, is one tough cookie, probably the most dangerous leader in the world today, notwithstanding the risky antics of North Korea's Kim.
Barnier is the chief negotiator on Brexit for the European Commission with a reputation as one tough cookie.
He's not particularly liked for it, but he is one tough cookie.
Given the ground was testing, Architecture must have had a hard race and she will have to be one tough cookie to bounce back just 13 days later.
Liz McColgan, who slipped to third in the Scottish mile rankings as a result, said: "Laura Muir is one tough cookie.
He has spent years tackling wild animals but Ola is one tough cookie he cannot crack.
She's one tough cookie (a sugar-free one, that is).
Hilda, from Selly Oak, but now living in Droitwich, is one tough cookie.
More than just a figure of romance or myth, she was a real person--and one tough cookie.
Also from Liverpool, Smith is one tough cookie and can bang; a match-up with Dilks would sell thousands of tickets but I don't see it.
While emails and short messages, even of the BlackBerry sort, are not very secure and can be hacked, BlackBerry Messenger is supposedly one tough cookie to crack, hard enough that the Chinese government and its multitude of IT experts is unable to crack it either.
You are one tough cookie and you are no quitter," judge Carrie Ann Inaba told a tearful Gosselin.