from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Obstinately disobedient or rebellious; insubordinate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Headstrong; insolent; hence, resisting legitimate authority, whether civil, ecclesiastical, military, or parental; stubbornly disobedient or rebellious: as, a contumacious child.
  • Specifically In law, wilfully disobedient to a lawful order of a judicial or legislative body, or showing wilful contempt of its authority.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Exhibiting contumacy; contemning authority; obstinate; perverse; stubborn; disobedient.
  • adjective (Law) Willfully disobedient to the summons or orders of a court.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Contemptuous of authority; willfully disobedient; rebellious.
  • adjective law Willfully disobedient to the summons or orders of a court.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective wilfully obstinate; stubbornly disobedient


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin contumāx ("stubborn, obstinate")


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  • "His Honour was, of course, firmly of the view that the appellant's mental state was such that she was capable of participating in the trial had she chosen to do so," he (Durward) said.

    "On this view, what is said to be the product of an unsoundness of mind can be seen to be the conduct of a contumacious litigant in defiance of the authority of the court.

    - David Barbeler, Bum-flashing lecturer's appeal dismissed,, 13 Oct 2009.

    October 13, 2009