head·​strong | \ˈhed-ˌstrȯŋ \

Definition of headstrong 

1 : not easily restrained : impatient of control, advice, or suggestions a headstrong businessman

2 : directed by ungovernable will violent headstrong actions

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Choose the Right Synonym for headstrong

unruly, ungovernable, intractable, refractory, recalcitrant, willful, headstrong mean not submissive to government or control. unruly implies lack of discipline or incapacity for discipline and often connotes waywardness or turbulence of behavior. unruly children ungovernable implies either an escape from control or guidance or a state of being unsubdued and incapable of controlling oneself or being controlled by others. ungovernable rage intractable suggests stubborn resistance to guidance or control. intractable opponents of the hazardous-waste dump refractory stresses resistance to attempts to manage or to mold. special schools for refractory children recalcitrant suggests determined resistance to or defiance of authority. acts of sabotage by a recalcitrant populace willful implies an obstinate determination to have one's own way. a willful disregard for the rights of others headstrong suggests self-will impatient of restraint, advice, or suggestion. a headstrong young cavalry officer

Examples of headstrong in a Sentence

The child is very headstrong. He is known for his headstrong behavior.

Recent Examples on the Web

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anya Taylor-Joy is slated to play the title role in a new film adaption of the 1815 story about a headstrong young woman and matchmaker in Georgian-Regency England. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "A New Adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma Is in the Works," 26 Oct. 2018 But the Saudis, in Musk’s retelling, have figured out how to patiently, skillfully work one of Silicon Valley’s most headstrong CEOs. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "In the Tesla drama, Saudi Arabia reminds Silicon Valley of its weight," 13 Aug. 2018 Chelsea hired Maurizio Sarri as its manager on a three-year contract on Saturday, bringing in a headstrong coach known for his expansive, attacking approach to football and for revitalizing Napoli in his only stint with a big European club. Steve Douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Chelsea replace Conte with former Napoli boss Sarri," 14 July 2018 Germany and South Korea represent entirely different challenges, but Mexico has succeeded against both and is proving to be a cohesive, headstrong unit ready for anything at this World Cup. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Mexico Passes Another Kind of World Cup Test in Outlasting South Korea," 23 June 2018 Much will depend on the impulses of three headstrong young men: Muhammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia; Muhammad bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the real power of the UAE; and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, the emir of Qatar. The Economist, "A wild rideRadical reforms in Saudi Arabia are changing the Gulf and the Arab world," 21 June 2018 As Trump prepares to meet with Kim on Tuesday, there’s uncertainty about how the two headstrong leaders will get along and whether the former real estate mogul can extract nuclear concessions from the young North Korean autocrat. Matthew Pennington, The Seattle Times, "Tough talk: US envoys on how to negotiate with North Korea," 9 June 2018 He's created a familiar yet exceptional family: hobbled patriarch Arthur, his terminally ill long-term partner Henry, his self-destructive son Alexander, and his headstrong niece Phaedra, all African-American, all gay. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "Michael Allen Harris’s Kingdom reveals a young playwright on the brink of greatness," 13 Mar. 2018 But headstrong Burt insists that remaining with him in their own home is the best answer for Ruth's needs, maintaining that their customary winter spell in Florida will be a tonic. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'What They Had': Film Review | Sundance 2018," 23 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'headstrong.' 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 headstrong

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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

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More Definitions for headstrong



English Language Learners Definition of headstrong

: not willing to do what other people want : very stubborn


head·​strong | \ˈhed-ˌstrȯŋ \

Kids Definition of headstrong

: very stubborn

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What made you want to look up headstrong? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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