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

  • noun The state or quality of being stubborn or refractory.
  • noun The act or an instance of being stubborn or refractory.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The character or condition of being obstinate; pertinacions adherence to an opinion, purpose, or course of conduct, whether right or wrong, and in spite of argument or entreaty; a fixedness, and generally an unreasonable fixedness, of opinion or resolution, that cannot be shaken; stubbornness; pertinacity.
  • noun An unyielding character or quality; continued resistance to the operation of remedies or to palliative measures: as, the obstinacy of a fever or of a cold.

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

  • noun A fixedness in will, opinion, or resolution that can not be shaken at all, or only with great difficulty; firm and usually unreasonable adherence to an opinion, purpose, or system; unyielding disposition; stubborness; pertinacity; persistency; contumacy.
  • noun The quality or state of being difficult to remedy, relieve, or subdue.

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

  • noun The state, or an act, of stubbornness or doggedness.

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

  • noun the trait of being difficult to handle or overcome
  • noun resolute adherence to your own ideas or desires


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • My father, as may be imagined, was highly incensed at my perseverance, which he called obstinacy, but, what will not be so easily believed, he soon after relented, and appointed a day to take me from the convent.

    The Romance of the Forest 2004

  • She only smiled in scorn, and those who stood by wept to see one so young and so beautiful persisting in what they termed obstinacy and rashness, and entreated her to yield; but she refused, and by her eloquent appeal so touched their hearts that forty persons declared themselves Christians, and ready to die with her.

    Among the Great Masters of Music Scenes in the Lives of Famous Musicians Walter Rowlands

  • Not being able to vanquish what he called my obstinacy, Maisons begged me at the least to go and fix myself upon the Quai de la Megisserie, where so much old iron is sold, and examine from that spot the tower where the will was; he pointed it out to me; it looked out upon the Quai des Morforidus, but was behind the buildings on the quai.

    Court Memoirs of France Series — Complete Various

  • He had been trying to persuade me to disregard what he termed the obstinacy of the old folks, and said impatiently:

    Nick Baba's Last Drink and Other Sketches George Paul Goff

  • When my parents asked me the reason of my nonattendance, I refused to answer them; and at length they became enraged at what they termed my obstinacy, and insisted that I should not fail to attend church on the following Sabbath.

    City Crimes or Life in New York and Boston George Thompson

  • Marcus Aurelius was contemptuously astonished at what he called the obstinacy of the Christians; he knew not from what source these nameless heroes drew a strength superior to his own, though he was at the same time emperor and sage.

    The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 03 Rossiter Johnson 1906

  • Erebus knew her brother well; she perceived that she was confronted by what she called his obstinacy; and though his brazen-faced admission had raised her to the very height of amazement and horror, she uttered no protest.

    The Terrible Twins Edgar Jepson 1900

  • At Northampton I often offended people I liked by what they called my obstinacy when a principle was at stake.

    Our Friend the Charlatan George Gissing 1880

  • England states were equally angry at what they called the obstinacy of the South, and threats of secession were heard on both sides.

    The War of Independence John Fiske 1871

  • The party tried to hail the steamer in the fog, wishing Lawry to put them on board of her; but her people did not hear their demand, or would not stop for them, and the party were highly incensed at what they called the obstinacy of Lawry.

    Haste and Waste; Or, the Young Pilot of Lake Champlain. a Story for Young People Oliver Optic 1859


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