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

  • adjective Stubbornly contrary and disobedient; obstinate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Turned away; turned from: opposed to facing.
  • Perversely inclined; wilful; refractory; disobedient; petulant; peevish.
  • Marked by or manifesting perverse feeling; ill-natured; ungracious; caustic.

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

  • adjective Not willing to yield or compIy with what is required or is reasonable; perverse; disobedient; peevish.

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

  • adjective archaic Disobedient, contrary, unmanageable; difficult to deal with; with an evil disposition.
  • preposition obsolete Away from.

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

  • adjective habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition


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

[Middle English : fra, fro, from, away; see fro + -ward, -ward; see –ward.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English froward, fraward, equivalent to fro +‎ -ward.


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  • You don't know how many times I thought this was a typo for forward...

    November 29, 2007

  • I haven't heard this word spoken in ages, and then this morning there it was, in my audiobook. :-)

    November 29, 2007

  • I love this word.

    November 29, 2007

  • Oh, don't be so froward, chained_bear. ;-)

    November 29, 2007

  • Yes, this is a beaut. I'm going to start using this with my family as an admonishment.

    November 30, 2007

  • Gaze no more on that killing eye,

    For fear the native cruelty

    Doom you, as it doth all, to die :

    For fear lest the fair object move

    Your froward heart to fall in love :

    Then you yourself my rival prove.

    - Thomas Carew, 'A Looking-Glass'.

    July 28, 2009

  • froward - (of a person) difficult to deal with; contrary.

    frowardly - adverb,

    frowardness - noun

    November 14, 2011

  • Compare the word untoward, which has a similar, though not identical, meaning ("inappropriate, unacceptable, etc.). Surely, the words must be derived from to and fro (which I guess meant originally "toward and away from").

    November 14, 2011

  • See comments at tetric.

    May 15, 2017

  • Synonym froppish.

    October 9, 2021