con·​tu·​ma·​cious | \ ˌkän-tü-ˈmā-shəs How to pronounce contumacious (audio) , -tyü-ˈmā-, -chə-ˈmā- \

Definition of contumacious

: stubbornly disobedient : rebellious She was warned that her contumacious conduct would not be tolerated.

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Other Words from contumacious

contumaciously adverb

Did You Know?

Legal contexts are one area where you might encounter this fancy word for "rebellious" or "insubordinate" - and the link between contumacious and the law goes back to Latin. The Latin adjective contumax means "rebellious," or, in specific cases, "showing contempt of court." Contumacious is related to contumely, meaning "harsh language or treatment arising from haughtiness and contempt." Both contumacious and contumely are thought to ultimately come from the Latin verb tumēre, meaning "to swell" or "to be proud."

Examples of contumacious in a Sentence

the judge threatened to charge the contumacious witness with contempt of court

First Known Use of contumacious

1583, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contumacious

see contumacy

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Time Traveler for contumacious

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The first known use of contumacious was in 1583

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Cite this Entry

“Contumacious.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contumacious

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