Definition of obstreperous
- obstreperous behavior
- an obstreperous child
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a room full of obstreperous children
an obstreperous crowd protesting the government's immigration policy
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The handy Latin prefix ob-, meaning "in the way," "against," or "toward," occurs in many Latin and English words. "Obstreperous" comes from ob- plus strepere, a verb meaning "to make a noise," so someone who is obstreperous is literally making noise to rebel against something, much like a protesting crowd or an unruly child. The word has been used in English since around the beginning of the 17th century. "Strepere" has not played a role in the formation of any other notable English words, but "ob-" words abound; these include "obese," "obnoxious," "occasion," "offend," "omit," "oppress," and "oust."
balky, contrary, contumacious, defiant, disobedient, froward, incompliant, insubordinate, intractable, rebel, rebellious, recalcitrant, refractory, restive, ungovernable, unruly, untoward, wayward, willful (or wilful);
adamant, adamantine, dogged, hardheaded, headstrong, immovable, implacable, inflexible, mulish, obdurate, obstinate, opinionated, peevish, pertinacious, pigheaded, rigid, self-willed, stubborn, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding;
: difficult to control and often noisy
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