adjective ob·du·rate \ ˈäb-də-rət , -dyə- ; äb-ˈdu̇r-ət , əb- , -ˈdyu̇r- \

Definition of obdurate

1 a : stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing
  • an unrepentant, obdurate sinner
b : hardened in feelings
  • The obdurate enemy was merciless.
2 : resistant to persuasion or softening influences
  • obdurate in his determination
  • remaining obdurate to her husband's advances
  • —Edith Wharton





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Examples of obdurate in a Sentence

  1. He is known for his obdurate determination.

  2. the obdurate refusal of the crotchety old man to let the neighborhood kids retrieve their stray ball from his backyard

Recent Examples of obdurate from the Web

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

Did You Know?

When you are confronted with someone obdurate, you may end up feeling dour. During the encounter, you may find that you need to be durable to keep your sanity intact. Maybe you will find such situations less stressful in the future if you can face them knowing that the words obdurate, dour, during, and durable are etymological cousins. All of those words trace back to the Latin adjective durus, which means "hard." A form of this adjective can still be found in dura mater, the name for the tough fibrous material that surrounds the brain and spinal cord; it comes from a Medieval Latin phrase meaning, literally, "hard mother."

Origin and Etymology of obdurate

Middle English, from Latin obduratus, past participle of obdurare to harden, from ob- against + durus hard — more at during

Synonym Discussion of obdurate

inflexible, obdurate, adamant mean unwilling to alter a predetermined course or purpose. inflexible implies rigid adherence or even slavish conformity to principle.
    • inflexible in their demands
obdurate stresses hardness of heart and insensitivity to appeals for mercy or the influence of divine grace.
    • obdurate in his refusal to grant clemency
adamant implies utter immovability in the face of all temptation or entreaty.
    • adamant that the work should continue

OBDURATE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of obdurate for English Language Learners

  • : refusing to do what other people want : not willing to change your opinion or the way you do something

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a downward inclination or slope

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