ob·​strep·​er·​ous | \əb-ˈstre-p(ə-)rəs, äb-\

Definition of obstreperous 

1 : marked by unruly or aggressive noisiness : clamorous obstreperous merriment an obstreperous argument

2 : stubbornly resistant to control : unruly obstreperous behavior an obstreperous child

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Other Words from obstreperous

obstreperously adverb
obstreperousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for obstreperous

vociferous, clamorous, blatant, strident, boisterous, obstreperous mean so loud or insistent as to compel attention. vociferous implies a vehement shouting or calling out. vociferous cries of protest and outrage clamorous may imply insistency as well as vociferousness in demanding or protesting. clamorous demands for prison reforms blatant implies an offensive bellowing or insensitive loudness. blatant rock music a blatant clamor for impeachment strident suggests harsh and discordant noise. heard the strident cry of the crow boisterous suggests a noisiness and turbulence due to high spirits. a boisterous crowd of party goers obstreperous suggests unruly and aggressive noisiness and resistance to restraint. the obstreperous demonstrators were arrested

Did You Know?

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."

Examples of obstreperous in a Sentence

a room full of obstreperous children an obstreperous crowd protesting the government's immigration policy

Recent Examples on the Web

American princess-in-waiting Meghan Markle is having a bad week in the run-up to her Saturday wedding to Prince Harry thanks to her obstreperous family. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Royal wedding drama: Meghan Markle's not alone when it comes to prenuptial stress, chaos," 16 May 2018 This is preceded by a collapse of faith in the usual clockwork that makes free societies tick, including an obstreperous press and codified tenets of justice. Steve Erickson, Los Angeles Magazine, "HBO’s Fahrenheit 451 Reveals a Blurred Line Between Utopia and Hell," 16 May 2018 The latter result suggests that years of propaganda have had an effect: Republicans have successfully cast teachers’ unions as obstreperous, greedy forces bent on radicalizing children in the classroom. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "How Liberals Learned to Love the Teachers," 4 Apr. 2018 While the trial court's frustration with an obstreperous defendant is understandable, the judge's disproportionate response is not. CBS News, "Texas judge orders electric shocks for uncooperative defendant," 8 Mar. 2018 While the trial court’s frustration with an obstreperous defendant is understandable, the judge’s disproportionate response is not. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Judge uses electric shock on defendant 3 times, Texas court throws out conviction," 7 Mar. 2018 Jailing obstreperous politicians is becoming a habit. The Economist, "Repression in Kyrgyzstan is eroding Central Asia’s only democracy," 18 Jan. 2018 One was a wonky establishment Republican careful to sand away any hard edges in his political persona; the other was an obstreperous and ignorant insurgent Republican who prided himself on his outrageousness. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Can Only Trump Survive Trump?," 15 Dec. 2017 Jay, true to character, is obstreperous at the start. Peter Lewis, The Christian Science Monitor, "'An Odyssey' is a father-son journey with Homer as guide," 20 Sep. 2017

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

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for obstreperous

Latin obstreperus, from obstrepere to clamor against, from ob- against + strepere to make a noise

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Time Traveler for obstreperous

The first known use of obstreperous was circa 1600

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English Language Learners Definition of obstreperous

: difficult to control and often noisy

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More from Merriam-Webster on obstreperous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obstreperous

Spanish Central: Translation of obstreperous

Nglish: Translation of obstreperous for Spanish Speakers

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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