obstinate

adjective
ob·​sti·​nate | \ ˈäb-stə-nət How to pronounce obstinate (audio) \

Definition of obstinate

1 : stubbornly adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion obstinate resistance to change
2 : not easily subdued, remedied, or removed obstinate fever

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Other Words from obstinate

obstinately adverb
obstinateness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for obstinate

obstinate, dogged, stubborn, pertinacious, mulish mean fixed and unyielding in course or purpose. obstinate implies usually an unreasonable persistence. an obstinate proponent of conspiracy theories dogged suggests an admirable often tenacious and unwavering persistence. pursued the story with dogged perseverance stubborn implies sturdiness in resisting change which may or may not be admirable. a person too stubborn to admit error pertinacious suggests an annoying or irksome persistence. a pertinacious salesclerk refusing to take no for an answer mulish implies a thoroughly unreasonable obstinacy. a mulish determination to have his own way

Examples of obstinate in a Sentence

More than 30 cities had sued the gun industry for the costs of violence on their streets. Cuomo had brashly stepped into the legal swamp, hoping he could be the guy to force concessions from an obstinate industry. — Matt Bai, Newsweek, 5 Feb. 2001 With The New York Times calling Klein "a weak nominee" and editorializing that the administration should withdraw him, and with his opponents obstinate and apparently committed, he seemed for a moment to be in serious trouble. — John Heilemann, Wired, November 2000 What did they know of life? All they knew was how to parrot the stock phrases of their profession and to continue to be obstinate until somebody, somewhere, paid up. — Alexander McCall Smith, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, 1998 When my father finished telling the story, he looked at me, then looked away. A moment of silence lodged between us, an old and obstinate silence. — Bernard Cooper, Harper's, August 1992 his obstinate refusal to obey My parents remain as obstinate as ever.
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Recent Examples on the Web Zelenskiy and Ukraine may be facing a similarly sensitive and obstinate government to the one the country confronted over the 2014 incident. Washington Post, "Iran crash and missile claims put Ukraine president in bind," 10 Jan. 2020 Since the first cases here were diagnosed nearly five weeks ago, an obstinate equanimity has prevailed. Arthur Longworth, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, April 6–12," 12 Apr. 2020 And the obstinate idiosyncrasies of his music were at times judged even more harshly. Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, "A New Album Reflects a Composer’s Stubborn Versatility," 8 Apr. 2020 Those obstinate automakers were right about one thing, though: The winning formula was definitely not an expensive economy car with pathetic range and a giant battery taking up much of the cargo space. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "Porsche Taycan Turbo S vs. Tesla Model S Performance: Electric Flattery," 7 Feb. 2020 In the end, the obstinate forces of tradition and inertia stymied the administration’s move from Bankova Street. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "How Trump’s Emissaries Put Pressure on Ukraine’s New President," 26 Oct. 2019 Combative banter with obstinate uncle Evencio (Jesse Garcia), recruited as impromptu guardian, represents a collision of two distinct experiences in a country with a sadistic attitude toward immigrants and their children. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Immigration/deportation drama ‘Collisions’ gets by on strong performances," 2 Oct. 2019 After all, those of us born under the fifth astrological sign are known for being passionate, obstinate, and unbending, with a taste for the finer things and just a touch of the imperious. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Royal Rebel: Helena Bonham Carter on The Crown and Playing Princess Margaret," 12 Nov. 2019 Doing good self-care is different than just being obstinate and willful. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for July 25, 2019: Capricorn, don’t forget the social niceties; Pisces, focus on being a team player," 25 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for obstinate

Middle English, from Anglo-French obstinat, Latin obstinatus, past participle of obstinare to be resolved, from ob- in the way + -stinare (akin to stare to stand)

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Time Traveler for obstinate

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

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Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Obstinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obstinate. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for obstinate

obstinate

adjective
How to pronounce obstinate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of obstinate

: refusing to change your behavior or your ideas
: difficult to deal with, remove, etc.

obstinate

adjective
ob·​sti·​nate | \ ˈäb-stə-nət How to pronounce obstinate (audio) \

Kids Definition of obstinate

1 : sticking stubbornly to an opinion or purpose
2 : difficult to deal with or get rid of an obstinate fever

Other Words from obstinate

obstinately adverb

obstinate

adjective
ob·​sti·​nate | \ ˈäb-stə-nət How to pronounce obstinate (audio) \

Medical Definition of obstinate

1 : adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion
2 : not easily subdued, remedied, or removed obstinate fever

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