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

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 His continued obstinacy is putting 250,000 American jobs at risk, many of them in the Houston area. Chris Tomlinson, Houston Chronicle, "Republican senator blocks Trump’s efforts to increase trade," 12 Feb. 2018 Aquarian obstinacy stems from strong, righteous conviction, and it's quelled as soon as an Aquarius gets the chance to enact change. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The Personality of an Aquarius, Explained," 2 Feb. 2018 Ironically, that obstinacy may the bedrock of Trump’s warm feelings toward Paul—anyone who bucks Mitch McConnell is, by default, a friend. Tina Nguyen, vanityfair.com, "Trump’s Best Friend in the Senate Keeps Stabbing Him in the Back," 10 Oct. 2017

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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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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