Simple Definition of stubborn
: refusing to change your ideas or to stop doing something
: difficult to deal with, remove, etc.
Full Definition of stubborn
2 : performed or carried on in an unyielding, obstinate, or persistent manner <stubborn effort>
3 : difficult to handle, manage, or treat <a stubborn cold>
4 : lasting <stubborn facts>
stubbornnessplay \-bər(n)-nəs\ noun
Examples of stubborn in a sentence
Louise was not the first to posit the idea of a miniature horse ancestral to the Arab; but she was the only one stubborn enough to prove it. —Jason Elliot, Mirrors of the Unseen, 2006
To remove stubborn price tags from items like dishes and glassware, I use a cotton pad or Q-tip soaked with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol dissolves the sticky glue and doesn't mess up my manicure. —Kathe Palmucci, Real Simple, April 2003
In the search for strategies to deal with the stubborn and deadly problem of driving under the influence, many cops are turning to an unusual tactic: Recruiting volunteer drinkers and drug users to teach officers to recognize impaired drivers. —Russell Gold, Wall Street Journal, 29 Oct. 2002
She's wrong, but she's too stubborn to admit it.
I admire his stubborn refusal to quit.
trying to treat a stubborn infection
Stubborn as a Mule (or Some Other Animal)
Most of us are familiar with the expression stubborn as a mule, which some feel is unfair to this hybrid animal. In fairness to the mule, let us look at some of the other animals that the English language has seen fit to equate with stubbornness over the years. John Wolcot wrote of being “as stubborn as a halter’d ram.” In the 19th century satirical work The Family of the Seisers, a character is described as being “as stubborn as a dog-fish.” And a character in Maria Edgeworth’s play Love and Law describes her own hair as “stubborn as a Presbyterian.” These curious phrases are, however, exceptional: the mule is by far the most commonly referenced animal when describing stubbornness. We have been using as stubborn as a mule since at least 1771, when the expression appears in Tobias Smollett’s The Expedition of Humphry Clinker.
Origin and Etymology of stubborn
Middle English stibourne, stuborn
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of stubborn
STUBBORN Defined for Kids
Definition of stubborn for Students
1 : refusing to change an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or urging <She's too stubborn to ask for help.>
2 : persistent <a stubborn cough>
3 : difficult to handle, manage, or treat <a stubborn stain>
Seen and Heard
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