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 Britain’s government, meanwhile, is adamant that one of the main prizes after Brexit is the right to diverge from EU rules. Max Colchester, WSJ, "City of London Braces for a Post-Brexit Squeeze," 21 Jan. 2020 Clarksville coach Justin Boser was adamant that the team’s goal is to win the sectionals, regardless of the record. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Jeffersonville student manager overcomes disabilities to score a touchdown for his team," 19 Oct. 2019 Biden’s allies remain adamant that what Democratic primary voters most want is someone who can beat Trump, and that Biden is seen as the safest bet to do so. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Biden, Warren face same challenge in Iowa: keeping momentum," 22 Sep. 2019 Fairhope’s explanation Fairhope city leaders, such as the police chief, are adamant that the ordinance unanimously approved by the council is not a punitive strike against homelessness. John Sharp |, al, "Why did Fairhope make sleeping in vehicles illegal?," 16 Aug. 2019 Miami coach Jimmy Johnson was adamant that Gary was down before losing the ball and Miami should have retained possession in the red zone. Khobi Price,, "ESPN says Miami Hurricanes were in four of the six greatest college football games of all time," 8 Nov. 2019 Ackley was adamant that spirits from the Revolutionary War era were present in the home. Hannah Chubb,, "A Celebrity-Owned New York Mansion Once Declared ‘Legally Haunted’ Is on the Market for $1.9M," 30 Sep. 2019 Christian students in the crowd were adamant that this was not what their religion preaches. Angela Roberts,, "Hundreds of University of Maryland students wage counterprotest against controversial religious group," 17 Sep. 2019 The measure passed the House, but the industry was adamant that no government regulation was necessary. Peter Whoriskey, oregonlive, "Much of the chocolate you buy — including from Hershey — starts with child labor," 6 June 2019

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

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adamant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for adamant


How to pronounce adamant (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on adamant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adamant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adamant

Spanish Central: Translation of adamant

Nglish: Translation of adamant for Spanish Speakers

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