I'm trying to describe a character in a story, but all I can think of is high pain tolerance. I think it's a bit weird in the scenario though.

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    Are you talking about someone that can withstand torture, or someone that does not feel pain? Stieg Larsson wrote about such a person in his 2nd book. i.e. "...the huge blond guy". It is a congenital infirmity called CIPA. – Cascabel Sep 25 at 22:35
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    I like this question, but you need to provide some more context, as well as a sample sentence as required by the SWR tag. – Cascabel Sep 25 at 22:47

Your character is stoic:

not affected by or showing passion or feeling.
especially : firmly restraining response to pain or distress —MW

For example:

Study could explain why some people are more stoic than others, researchers say

It's been a mystery why some people can withstand pain better than others. —Genes May Help Determine Your Pain Threshold

  • "stoic" is not the word for this question. As your definition says, "firmly restraining response", which is not the same as not experiencing. My own family is very pain tolerant. My wife didn't refuse an epidural because she wanted to feel pain, it was because she could put up with it. My children were prescribed opioids when they had their wisdom teeth extracted, but they didn't bother taking them, not even Asprin®. I myself haven't taken a "pain reliever" for decades. If I feel pain, and I know what is causing it, I can simply ignore it. That isn't stoicism. – Ray Butterworth Oct 26 at 0:36
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    @RayButterworth It seems like we disagree on what "pain tolerance" means. I interpreted it the same as this article: "Your pain tolerance refers to the maximum amount of pain you can handle. This is different from your pain threshold. Your pain threshold is the minimum point at which something, such as pressure or heat, causes you pain." – Laurel Oct 26 at 0:40
  • But I am talking about pain tolerance, not threshold. I'm not insensitive to pain. But I've never felt pain so intense that I couldn't simply ignore it and live with it. It's only if I don't know the cause of the pain that I have any problem, and then the problem is with determining the cause, not with allieviating the pain. – Ray Butterworth Oct 26 at 0:44
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    @RayButterworth I'm an anesthesiologist, so expert opinion here. Stoic is actually the word used in our literature to describe this. You have a higher pain threshold which is what makes you have a higher pain tolerance. You still feel the painful stimulus, but it does not trigger as vigorous a pain response in your brain. The threshold required to trigger that same response in your thalamus is higher than average. – David M Oct 26 at 1:18
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    @Laurel +1, see my other comment. This is the term frequently used in anesthesia literature to describe people with high tolerance for pain. – David M Oct 26 at 1:19

It's a simple word, but tough: capable of tolerating extreme strain, hardship, or severe labor.

Tough is especially applicable in a character description.

After years of military service, bar room brawls, and countless injuries without a word of complaint, no one doubted that Joe was tough.

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