American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Obstinate or contemptuous resistance to authority; stubborn rebelliousness.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Wilful and persistent resistance to legitimate authority of any kind; unyielding disobedience; stubborn perverseness in an illegal or wrong course of action.
- n. Specifically In law, wilful disobedience to a lawful order of a judicial or legislative body, or wilful contempt of its authority; a refusal to appear in court when legally summoned. Synonyms Stubbornness, perverseness, wilfulness, intractability. For comparison, see
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Stubborn perverseness; pertinacious resistance to authority.
- n. (Law) A willful contempt of, and disobedience to, any lawful summons, or to the rules and orders of court, as a refusal to appear in court when legally summoned.
- n. obstinate rebelliousness and insubordination; resistance to authority
- n. willful refusal to appear before a court or comply with a court order; can result in a finding of contempt of court
- Middle English contumacie, from Latin contumācia, from contumāx, contumāc-, insolent. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
““Yes, yes,” continued the Frenchwoman, with angry volubility, “what has she done that you call contumacy and disrespect?”
“Presumptive contumacy occurs when there is a strong presumption, though it is not certain, that the citation was served.”
“As he resisted all Davies's attempts to enlighten him, and met his master's threats with a stedfastness which these friends to liberty called contumacy, the alternative was dismissal from his present service, without any remuneration for his past.”
“For I felt certain that whatever it was that they professed, their contumacy and inflexible obstinancy obviously demanded punishment.”
“Bread and the circus are freely given to the deserving, and as for the undeserving, they are merely reaping the rewards of their contumacy and pride.”
“Now there is a problem in that the Framers did not include a power to punish for contumacy.”
“Punishment for refusing to comply with a court order, such as an injunction against violation of a regulation or operating without a license, is a different power, the power to punish for contumacy, not a necessary and implied power of the Commerce Clause.”
“He is, therefore, summoned to their presence, and prompt obedience will insure him forgiveness; but in case of contumacy, let him beware how he again essays either the lyre or the pallet.”
“Captain MacTurk would willingly have taken measures against the Baronet himself, as in a state of contumacy, but was opposed by Winterblossom and other members of the committee, who considered Sir Bingo as too important and illustrious a member of their society to be rashly expelled from a place not honoured by the residence of many persons of rank; and finally insisted that nothing should be done in the matter without the advice of”
“But his entertainer took not the contumacy of the young apprentice with so much patience.”
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