ob·​sti·​na·​cy | \ ˈäb-stə-nə-sē How to pronounce obstinacy (audio) \
plural obstinacies

Definition of obstinacy

1a : the quality or state of being obstinate : stubbornness She held to her own opinion with great obstinacy.
b : the quality or state of being difficult to remedy, relieve, or subdue the obstinacy of tuberculosis
2 : an instance of being obstinate irritated by the senator's obstinacies

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Examples of obstinacy in a Sentence

the mindless obstinacy of those people who continue to insist that the earth is flat
Recent Examples on the Web Mr Sánchez got to the Moncloa palace through a mixture of obstinacy and daring, and by tacking left. The Economist, "Will a November election break or prolong Spain’s political deadlock?," 19 Sep. 2019 At a French-British summit meeting in 1988, when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sought a cut in French agricultural subsidies, her obstinacy prompted an obscene outburst from Mr. Chirac. New York Times, "Jacques Chirac, Who Led France Envisioning European Unity, Is Dead at 86," 26 Sep. 2019 What’s worse, this back-and-forth or the obstinacy that has derailed other rivalries from picking back up? Joan Niesen, SI.com, "Ahead of 100th Meeting, Is the Penn State–Pitt Rivalry at Risk of Fading Away?," 13 Sep. 2019 The whole case will, in my opinion, remain immortal in the classics of crime as the supreme example of official incompetence and obstinacy. Sarah Weinman, The New Republic, "Arthur Conan Doyle, True Detective," 14 June 2018 As Orange County shows, Democratic obstinacy can embolden Republicans. Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times, "Orange County Fights Turning Blue. And the Resistance Is Formidable.," 8 June 2018 It’s hard to see the utility even if the staffer leaked out of sheer horror or concern; Trump’s track record suggests that exposing him through leaks is perhaps more likely to trigger paranoia and obstinacy than persuade him to change tack. Nicholas Zimmerman, Daily Intelligencer, "Why Washington Insiders Decide to Leak," 16 May 2018 Some carriers will hold out either through obstinacy or inability. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Exclusive: Chat is Google’s next big fix for Android’s messaging mess," 20 Apr. 2018 Nunberg’s sheer obstinacy—who wouldn’t spend 80 hours going through emails to avoid going to jail?—can only be marveled at. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Sam Nunberg’s meltdown was the Russia story’s strangest moment yet.," 6 Mar. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

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Cite this Entry

“Obstinacy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obstinacy. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for obstinacy


ob·​sti·​na·​cy | \ ˈäb-stə-nə-sē How to pronounce obstinacy (audio) \
plural obstinacies

Medical Definition of obstinacy

: the quality or state of being obstinate the obstinacy of tuberculosis

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