ob·​strep·​er·​ous | \ əb-ˈstre-p(ə-)rəs How to pronounce obstreperous (audio) , 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 Biden, who has already met with another obstreperous American adversary, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, has not yet announced a face-to-face meeting with Xi. BostonGlobe.com, 21 July 2021 Implicit in obstreperous is the idea that the control is justified and the threat minimal – its tone is patronizing. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 June 2021 On one side are those who want to crack down on peaceful if obstreperous protesters, on women’s reproductive rights and on journalistic freedom while limiting minority voting rights and promoting religious conformity. Eric Zorn, chicagotribune.com, 1 June 2021 The United States is a big country, full of obstreperous citizens who claim, or would like to claim, a broad array of rights that can’t all be recognized. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 Lifting weights is nothing compared to wrestling those obstreperous facial muscles during a meeting. Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2021 The elder Prescott hopes Teddy will soak up some practical business experience, but Ruthie offers his services to the Parlonis, obstreperous retirees whose personal assistants seem to come and go through a revolving door. Washington Post, 30 Apr. 2021 Exuberant and even sometimes obstreperous behavior is how Hispanic fans are accustomed to expressing their fandom, said Luis Alarcón, a member of La Barra Real. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Apr. 2021 Both have a knack for navigating India’s obstreperous courts and bureaucracy. The Economist, 27 Mar. 2021

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

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The first known use of obstreperous was circa 1600

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Cite this Entry

“Obstreperous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obstreperous. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for obstreperous



English Language Learners Definition of obstreperous

: difficult to control and often noisy

More from Merriam-Webster on obstreperous

Nglish: Translation of obstreperous for Spanish Speakers


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