con·​tu·​ma·​cy | \ kən-ˈtü-mə-sē How to pronounce contumacy (audio) , -ˈtyü-; ˈkän-tü-, -tyü-, -chə- How to pronounce contumacy (audio) \

Definition of contumacy

: stubborn resistance to authority specifically : willful contempt of court

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Examples of contumacy in a Sentence

a rogue archbishop who was excommunicated on grounds of contumacy

First Known Use of contumacy

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contumacy

Middle English contumacie, from Anglo-French, from Latin contumacia, from contumac-, contumax rebellious

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The first known use of contumacy was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Contumacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for contumacy


con·​tu·​ma·​cy | \ kən-ˈtü-mə-sē, -ˈtyü-; ˈkän-tə-mə-sē, -tyə- How to pronounce contumacy (audio) \

Legal Definition of contumacy

: willful disobedience of a court order

Other Words from contumacy

contumacious \ ˌkän-​tü-​ˈmā-​shəs, -​tyü-​ How to pronounce contumacious (audio) \ adjective

History and Etymology for contumacy

Latin contumacia, literally, defiance, obstinacy

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