obdurate

adjective
ob·​du·​rate | \ ˈäb-də-rət How to pronounce obdurate (audio) , -dyə-; äb-ˈdu̇r-ət, əb-, -ˈdyu̇r- \

Definition of obdurate

1a : 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

Other Words from obdurate

obdurately adverb
obdurateness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for obdurate

inflexible, obdurate, adamant mean unwilling to alter a predetermined course or purpose. inflexible implies rigid adherence or even servile 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

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, and durable are etymological kissing cousins. All of those words trace back to the Latin adjective durus, which means "hard." This adjective can still be found in dura mater, the name for the tough fibrous material that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, which comes from a Medieval Latin phrase meaning, literally, "hard mother."

Examples of obdurate in a Sentence

He is known for his obdurate determination. the obdurate refusal of the crotchety old man to let the neighborhood kids retrieve their stray ball from his backyard
Recent Examples on the Web But the act has been tied up in the Senate, due to the obdurate opposition of the entire GOP caucus and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.). Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 25 Mar. 2022 Those are just the most obdurate employers, says David Woods, the union’s secretary-treasurer. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2022 She was largely paralyzed from the neck down but just as obdurate as ever, wanting Sri to be the one to feed her, administer her fentanyl patch, bathe her and change her diaper, even though Sri had hired a home health aide to help. Noy Thrupkaew, Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2021 When team members or individual personalities try to be obdurate and disturb the team conversation, the team coach will need to maintain composure under such circumstances. Jedidiah Alex Koh, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 Ink and paint veer between obdurate opacity and delicate transparency. New York Times, 19 Aug. 2021 The chorus sings of the Plague of Thebes over five darkly screaming chords in the key of B-flat minor, with an obdurate bass line grating against the upper harmonies. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 21 June 2021 By the summer of 1776, all but the most obdurate loyalists on the American continent knew that all-out war between Britain and the American Colonies had arrived. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 June 2021 France’s defense is stolid and obdurate and miserly. New York Times, 15 June 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of obdurate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for obdurate

Middle English, borrowed from Late Latin obdūrātus, going back to Latin, past participle of obdūrāre "to harden, be persistent, hold out," from ob-, perfective prefix + dūrāre "to harden, hold out, endure" — more at ob-, during

Learn More About obdurate

Time Traveler for obdurate

Time Traveler

The first known use of obdurate was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About obdurate

Dictionary Entries Near obdurate

obduracy

obdurate

obdure

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for obdurate

Cite this Entry

“Obdurate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obdurate. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on obdurate

Nglish: Translation of obdurate for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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