Dictionary

unruly

adjective un·ruly \-ˈrü-lē\

: difficult to control

un·rul·i·erun·rul·i·est

Full Definition of UNRULY

:  not readily ruled, disciplined, or managed <an unruly crowd> <a mane of unruly hair>
un·rul·i·ness noun

Examples of UNRULY

  1. <unruly pupils were given detention as a matter of course>
  2. <a camp that was known as a place where unruly youths were given their last chance to shape up>

Origin of UNRULY

Middle English unreuly, from un- + reuly disciplined, from reule rule
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of UNRULY

unruly, ungovernable, intractable, refractory, recalcitrant, willful, headstrong mean not submissive to government or control. unruly implies lack of discipline or incapacity for discipline and often connotes waywardness or turbulence of behavior <unruly children>. ungovernable implies either an escape from control or guidance or a state of being unsubdued and incapable of controlling oneself or being controlled by others <ungovernable rage>. intractable suggests stubborn resistance to guidance or control <intractable opponents of the hazardous-waste dump>. refractory stresses resistance to attempts to manage or to mold <special schools for refractory children>. recalcitrant suggests determined resistance to or defiance of authority <acts of sabotage by a recalcitrant populace>. willful implies an obstinate determination to have one's own way <a willful disregard for the rights of others>. headstrong suggests self-will impatient of restraint, advice, or suggestion <a headstrong young cavalry officer>.

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April 27, 2015
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