adjective ad·a·mant \ ˈa-də-mənt , -ˌmant \
|Updated on: 11 Jul 2018

Definition of adamant

: 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



Examples of adamant in a Sentence

  1. 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 RidleyGenome1999
  2. 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 BuckleyNew Yorker10 Mar. 1997
  3. 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 GalbraithNew Yorker21 Apr. 1986
  4. We've tried to talk him into coming with us, but he's adamant about staying here.

  5. remained adamant about getting the actor's autograph even after he had disappeared backstage

Recent Examples of adamant from the Web

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.

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."

Origin and Etymology of adamant

derivative of 2adamant

Synonym Discussion of 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



noun ad·a·mant \ ˈa-də-mənt , -ˌmant \

Definition of adamant

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

Origin and Etymology of adamant

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- 2a- and the stem of the verb dámnēmi "(I) tame, subdue, conquer"

ADAMANT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of adamant for English Language Learners

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

ADAMANT Defined for Kids


adjective ad·a·mant \ ˈa-də-mənt \

Definition of adamant for Students

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

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one who attends or assists a leader

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