ad·​a·​mant | \ ˈa-də-mənt How to pronounce adamant (audio) , -ˌmant \

Definition of adamant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: unshakable or insistent especially in maintaining a position or opinion : unyielding an adamant insistence on doing things his own way was adamant about making the change



Definition of adamant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a stone (such as a diamond) formerly believed to be of impenetrable hardness
2 : an unbreakable or extremely hard substance "Trust not in your gold and silver, trust not in your high fortresses; for, though the walls were of iron, and the fortresses of adamant, the Most High shall put terror into your hearts and weakness into your councils …"— George Eliot

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Choose the Right Synonym for adamant


inflexible, obdurate, adamant mean unwilling to alter a predetermined course or purpose. inflexible implies rigid adherence or even slavish conformity to principle. inflexible in their demands obdurate stresses hardness of heart and insensitivity to appeals for mercy or the influence of divine grace. obdurate in his refusal to grant clemency adamant implies utter immovability in the face of all temptation or entreaty. adamant that the work should continue

The Meaning and History of Adamant

A person who is adamant about something has formed an opinion or taken a position that is not going to change because the person is determined to keep that opinion or position. If you're adamant about a decision you've made, no one can convince you that it was a mistake. If you're adamant that something be done (or not be done), you insist that it be (or not be) so.

The adjective dates to the early 1800s but it comes from a much older—and now much less common—noun. An adamant is an imaginary stone of impenetrable hardness. Historically, the word applied to actual stones (and other substances) believed to be impenetrable; in the 17th century the word was used as a synonym of diamond. The noun adamant comes from a Latin word meaning "material of extreme hardness, diamond."

One side note: however adamant the Adams in your life tend to be, the name Adam is not related etymologically to the word adamant. Adam comes from the Hebrew word 'āḏām, meaning "human being."

Examples of adamant in a Sentence

Adjective I am keen not to share my genetic code with my insurer, I am keen that my doctor should know it and use it, but I am adamant to the point of fanaticism that it is my decision. — Matt Ridley, Genome, 1999 Arrive to find child physically intact but … adamant that he will not remain another minute in Ski Bunny program. Despite their 'professionalism,' staff members eagerly concur. — Christopher Buckley, New Yorker, 10 Mar. 1997 In the years following the First World War, the debts of our wartime allies and others came to be considered a serious burden on international commerce and well-being. Calvin Coolidge was adamant on repayment. — John Kenneth Galbraith, New Yorker, 21 Apr. 1986 We've tried to talk him into coming with us, but he's adamant about staying here. remained adamant about getting the actor's autograph even after he had disappeared backstage
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But if Watson is adamant, Caserio may have no choice. Globe Staff,, "Several NFL franchise quarterbacks want trades after Tom Brady showed them the way," 13 Feb. 2021 But Supervisor Dean Preston, the author of the measure, has been adamant that the tax revenue be spent on its stated purpose: affordable housing and rent relief for those hurt by the pandemic. Mallory Moench, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco reports $125 million budget surplus this fiscal year - but deficits still loom," 12 Feb. 2021 Stark, however, was adamant that despite those restrictions, her debut film would do as little guessing as possible. Natalie Morin,, "The Director Of Framing Britney Spears Explains How We All Failed Britney," 8 Feb. 2021 The International Olympic Committee also is adamant the Games should go ahead — the billions in commercial deals already signed are critical to its revenue. Star Tribune, "Postpone Tokyo Olympics until COVID is under control," 1 Feb. 2021 Still, Justice Department leadership was adamant that terrorism investigators focus on antifa as the demonstrations spread, according to an official who worked on the inquiries. New York Times, "How Trump’s Focus on Antifa Distracted Attention From the Far-Right Threat," 30 Jan. 2021 School leaders are adamant that a decision is needed as soon as possible. Emily Donaldson, Dallas News, "Texas schools need to show efforts in finding missing students to secure millions in funding, some lawmakers say," 27 Jan. 2021 Ticolat denied this assertion, but Marinello was adamant. May Jeong, Town & Country, "Inside the Art Scandal that Rocked European Society," 24 Jan. 2021 Impeachment trials are typically all-consuming affairs, grinding all other Senate work to a halt, and Democrats were adamant that this time the two sides find a way to simultaneously judge Mr. Trump and confirm key members of Mr. Biden’s cabinet. New York Times, "Deepening Schism, McConnell Says Trump ‘Provoked’ Capitol Mob," 19 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adamant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adamant


1816, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adamant


derivative of adamant entry 2


Middle English, "diamond, material of extreme hardness, lodestone," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin adamant-, adamās "material of extreme hardness, diamond," borrowed from Greek adamant-, adámas, probably a borrowing from a substratal or Near Eastern source, conformed by folk etymology to a- a- entry 2 and the stem of the verb dámnēmi "(I) tame, subdue, conquer"

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Time Traveler for adamant

Time Traveler

The first known use of adamant was in the 14th century

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Statistics for adamant

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adamant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for adamant



English Language Learners Definition of adamant

: not willing to change an opinion or decision : very determined


ad·​a·​mant | \ ˈa-də-mənt How to pronounce adamant (audio) \

Kids Definition of adamant

: not giving in I tried to change her mind, but she was adamant.

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