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

  • adj. Marked by stubborn resistance to and defiance of authority or guidance. See Synonyms at unruly.
  • n. A recalcitrant person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Marked by a stubborn unwillingness to obey authority.
  • adj. Unwilling to cooperate socially.
  • adj. Difficult to deal with or to operate.
  • n. A person who is recalcitrant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Kicking back; recalcitrating; hence, showing repugnance or opposition; refractory.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Refusing to submit; exhibiting repugnance or opposition; not submissive or compliant; refractory.

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

  • adj. marked by stubborn resistance to authority
  • adj. stubbornly resistant to authority or control


Late Latin recalcitrāns, recalcitrant-, present participle of recalcitrāre, to be disobedient, from Latin, to deny access : re-, re- + calcitrāre, to kick (from calx, calc-, heel).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin recalcitrāns, recalcitrantis, present participle of recalcitrō, recalcitrāre ("be disobedient"). (Wiktionary)



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  • ree-KAL-see-trent

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  • No, Mahathir Mohammed.

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  • Paul Keating.

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