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 Now that Democrats have taken back Congress and the White House, this obstinacy is either stupid or purposefully malicious. al, "The Medicaid Civil War is over. Quit fighting, Kay Ivey.," 13 Feb. 2021 López Obrador is known for his obstinacy and has taken certain pride in it at times. Star Tribune, "Mexicans want more info while president out with COVID-19," 28 Jan. 2021 The obstinacy cuts against basic health precautions. Michael Laris, Anchorage Daily News, "Sneezed on, cussed at, ignored: Airline workers battle mask resistance with scant government backup," 2 Jan. 2021 Becerra, whom President-elect Joe Biden has chosen to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, claims that Amazon’s obstinacy is preventing the state from protecting its citizens. Jay Greene, Washington Post, "California accuses Amazon of hampering warehouse probe," 14 Dec. 2020 Trump’s obstinacy—and his lawyers’ efforts to soothe that psychic pain—will likely fail to fill the gnawing void within him. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Trump’s New Self-Care Routine: Filing Sad Lawsuits," 9 Nov. 2020 His obstinacy prompted Clinton to fire him in July 1993, a bit more than halfway through his 10-year tenure. Stephen Miller, Bloomberg.com, "William Sessions, FBI Chief Fired by Bill Clinton, Dies at 90," 11 June 2020 Gilbert’s obstinacy helped reveal the existence of a murderer preying on South Shore prostitutes. Noel Murray, New York Times, "The Best Movies and TV Shows New to Netflix, Amazon and Stan in Australia in March," 3 Mar. 2020 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

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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Time Traveler for obstinacy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for obstinacy

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obstinacy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obstinacy. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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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