American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Stubbornly adhering to an attitude, opinion, or course of action; obdurate.
- adj. Difficult to manage, control, or subdue; refractory.
- adj. Difficult to alleviate or cure: an obstinate headache.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Pertinaciously adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course of action; not yielding to argument, persuasion, or entreaty; headstrong.
- Springing from or indicating obstinacy.
- Not easily controlled or removed; unyielding to treatment: as, an obstinate cough; an obstinate headache.
- Synonyms Obstinate, Stubborn, Intractable, Refractory, Contumacious, pertinacious, headstrong, unyielding, dogged, wilful, persistent, immovable, inflexible, firm, resolute. The first five words now imply a strong and vicious or disobedient refusal to yield, a resolute or unmanageable standing upon one's own will. Stubborn is strictly negative: a stubborn child will not listen to advice or commands, but perhaps has no definite purpose of his own. Obstinate is active: the obstinate man will carry out his intention in spite of advice, remonstrance, appeals, or force. The last three of the italicized words imply disobedience to proper authority. Intractable, literally not to be drawn, handled, or governed, is negative; so is refractory: both suggest sullenness or perverseness; refractory is more appropriate where resistance is physical: hence the extension of the word to apply to metals. Contumacious combines pride, haughtiness, or insolence with disobedience; in law it means wilfully disobedient to the orders of a court.
- adj. Stubbornly adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course, usually with implied unreasonableness; persistent.
- adj. Said of inanimate things not easily subdued or removed.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Pertinaciously adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course; persistent; not yielding to reason, arguments, or other means; stubborn; pertinacious; -- usually implying unreasonableness.
- adj. Not yielding; not easily subdued or removed
- adj. resistant to guidance or discipline
- adj. stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing
- v. persist stubbornly
- adj. tenaciously unwilling or marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield
- From Latin obstinātus, past participle of obstinō ("set one's mind firmly upon, resolve"), from ob ("before") + *stinare, from stare ("to stand"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English obstinat, from Latin obstinātus, past participle of obstināre, to persist; see stā- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Beth had been lying back against the seat for an hour or more with her eyes closed, having complained of a headache after quarreling with him again over what she termed his obstinate refusal to be conciliating with Richmond.”
“Pained at what he called the obstinate infatuation of Miss Beaufort, and if possible more chagrined by what he considered the blind and absurd encouragement of his aunt, Mr. Somerset lost the whole of her last reprimand in his hurry to quit the room.”
“I'm sure he'll remain obstinate and continue to promote abortion.”
“With Republicans being just plain obstinate and irresponsible and now many Democrats following a similar path just to make sure their jobs are intact next election there doesn't appear to be much hope for anything meaningful.”
“His long upper lip went down in obstinate resistance to impulse.”
“Accordingly she called the obstinate and sulky Pauline before her.”
“So obstinate is she that God has to "allure her," that is, so to temper judgment with unlooked-for grace as to win her to His ways.”
“I heard myself called obstinate and wilful, only because I believed myself in the right, and persisted in it.”
“Note, Though it is God's gracious method to bear long with sinners, yet he will not bear always; at length he will come, and will not spare those who remain obstinate and impenitent, notwithstanding all his methods to reclaim and reform them.”
“Numidia, the strong inland city of Corta still persisted in obstinate independence.”
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