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 And his efforts to defang American enemies have run up against intransigent foreign leaders as well as resistance from both allies and his own advisers. Michael Crowley, New York Times, "Trump Heads Into 2020 With No Clear Policy Agenda. But It May Not Matter.," 4 Sep. 2019 Since suspending the bill in June, Lam has been intransigent over the protesters’ chief demands, which include a withdrawal of the bill, an independent inquiry into police misconduct and universal suffrage. Ryan Ho Kilpatrick, Los Angeles Times, "Hong Kong’s leaderless protest movement put to the test with arrest of prominent activists," 30 Aug. 2019 His writ included the warring states of the former Yugoslavia, which were led by intransigent men waging a genocidal war. Thomas Powers, The New York Review of Books, "The Fog of Ambition," 6 June 2019 Similarly repetitive and ridiculous are the many scenes of heroic scientists confronting intransigent bureaucrats by explicitly criticizing the Soviet system of decision-making. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "What HBO’s “Chernobyl” Got Right, and What It Got Terribly Wrong," 4 June 2019 At a stroke, anyone advocating actually leaving the European Union—hitherto known as a Leave voter—was an intransigent kook from the reactionary fringe. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "No Exit," 10 Apr. 2019 The parable of Mr Tsipras’s eventual capitulation—his radical government brought to heel by capital markets and an intransigent European Union—is seeping into the left’s consciousness. The Economist, "Why Labour is obsessed with Greek politics," 28 June 2018 Kim destroyed a nuclear test site hours before Trump canceled the meeting, allowing it to paint the United States as the intransigent party with constituencies that matter to Pyongyang: Beijing and Moscow. Sean Illing, Vox, "Trump just canceled the North Korea summit. 9 experts explain what happens now.," 24 May 2018 Others argue that hearts and minds would have proved more intransigent without their pyrotechnics. The Economist, "What modern campaigners can learn from the fight for women’s suffrage," 19 Apr. 2018

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

Listen to Our Podcast about intransigent

Statistics for intransigent

Time Traveler for intransigent

The first known use of intransigent was circa 1879

See more words from the same year

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on intransigent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intransigent

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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