Definitions

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

  • noun Obstinate or contemptuous resistance to authority; stubborn rebelliousness.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Wilful and persistent resistance to legitimate authority of any kind; unyielding disobedience; stubborn perverseness in an illegal or wrong course of action.
  • noun 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.

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

  • noun Stubborn perverseness; pertinacious resistance to authority.
  • noun (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.

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

  • noun disobedience, resistance to authority

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

  • noun obstinate rebelliousness and insubordination; resistance to authority
  • noun willful refusal to appear before a court or comply with a court order; can result in a finding of contempt of court

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English contumacie, from Latin contumācia, from contumāx, contumāc-, insolent.]

Examples

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Madam, answered I, you have but to command me. Give me my commission on your muster-roll, and you shall have no reason to complain either of my cowardice or contumacy.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 4 ch. 7

    September 18, 2008