in·​tran·​si·​gent | \ in-ˈtran(t)-sə-jənt How to pronounce intransigent (audio) , -ˈtran-zə \

Definition of intransigent

: characterized by refusal to compromise or to abandon an often extreme position or attitude : uncompromising intransigent in their opposition an intransigent attitude

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from intransigent

intransigent noun
intransigently adverb

Did You Know?

English speakers borrowed "intransigent" in the 19th century from Spanish intransigente ("uncompromising"), itself a combination of the familiar prefix in- ("not") and "transigente" ("willing to compromise"). "Transigente" comes from the Spanish verb transigir ("to compromise"), which in turn comes from Latin transigere ("to come to an agreement"). The French have a similar verb, "transiger," which also means "to compromise." You may wonder if the word transigent exists in English, and the answer is "not really." It has seen occasional use, but it is not well established. There is, however, one other common English word that traces from Latin transigere: transact, meaning "to conduct (business)."

Examples of intransigent in a Sentence

He has remained intransigent in his opposition to the proposal. he has remained intransigent, refusing all suggestions for improvement of the process
Recent Examples on the Web But Sullivan faulted groups like Chase’s for being intransigent. Washington Post, "Federal pilot program would open long-distance trucking to 18-year-olds," 31 Dec. 2020 In fact, experts told The New Republic that the ATF may be Biden’s best bet at leaving a mark on federal gun policy without having to rely on an intransigent Congress. Joshua Eaton, The New Republic, "This Beleaguered Federal Agency Is America’s Best Hope to Curb Guns," 25 Dec. 2020 This would allow an intransigent senator could push final passage of the one-week bill into the weekend. Mike Debonis, Jeff Stein, Anchorage Daily News, "Senate passes one-week spending bill to avoid government shutdown," 11 Dec. 2020 With such intransigent foes, analysts predict a potentially long and bloody fight that is already spilling over Ethiopia’s borders. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "They Once Ruled Ethiopia. Now They Are Fighting Its Government.," 15 Nov. 2020 With such intransigent foes, analysts predict a potentially long and bloody fight that is already spilling over Ethiopia’s borders. Declan Walsh And Simon Marks New York Times, Star Tribune, "They once ruled Ethiopia. Now they are fighting its government," 15 Nov. 2020 The issues of intransigent Republican legislators and a judiciary fully arranged to uphold conservative rule for a generation was entirely stashed out of sight. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Joe Biden Has Found His Big Idea," 20 Aug. 2020 The British Museum has remained intransigent about the issue of repatriation and has equally refused to pay restitution to the African countries whose artifacts are held in bondage. Sylvester Ogbechie, Quartz Africa, "How to bring Africa’s artifacts back home from Europe’s museums," 14 June 2020 Some ministers think covid-19 may now make a complete break with the EU easier to sell politically, especially if the blame can be placed on an intransigent Brussels. The Economist, "Brexit Deadlock looms at Brexit talks next week," 28 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intransigent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of intransigent

circa 1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for intransigent

Spanish intransigente, from in- + transigente, present participle of transigir to compromise, from Latin transigere to come to an agreement — more at transact

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about intransigent

Time Traveler for intransigent

Time Traveler

The first known use of intransigent was circa 1879

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about intransigent

Statistics for intransigent

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intransigent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for intransigent


How to pronounce intransigent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of intransigent

formal : completely unwilling to change : very stubborn

More from Merriam-Webster on intransigent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intransigent

Nglish: Translation of intransigent for Spanish Speakers

Comments on intransigent

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!