restive was our Word of the Day on 09/30/2007. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of restive in a Sentence
the restive horse threw its head and refused to move when the rider urged it forward
spent a restive night worrying about the next day's exam
Recent Examples of restive from the Web
To be sure, Buckley had important disagreements with Reagan in office — Bill was by nature too restive to be a loyalist for long — and Reagan had important failures of policy.
The Philippines has had its share of conflict, particularly in Mindanao, a poor and restive southern island that is home to most Filipino Muslims.
Missouri’s law is one in a series of GOP responses to restive cities that largely voted against Donald Trump and have grasped for ways to resist his administration.
As security forces shoot rubber bullets, tear-gas canisters and sometimes live rounds at the churning crowds, increasingly restive mobs are responding with lethal slingshots, homemade mortars and Molotov cocktails.
The bedroom is painted in a restive deep teal, with a massive mirror to make the space feel even bigger.
Nothing could suit the country’s restive, fearful mood than the story of a modest and tragic hero of the sport that was still the undisputed national pastime.
The soldiers were assisting operations against the Islamic State in the restive eastern province of Afghanistan.
BHP Billiton Ltd. named former packaging company head Ken MacKenzie to chair its board as the world’s biggest miner grapples with a mounting challenge from restive investors and slowing growth in China, its top customer.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'restive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Restive ultimately comes from the Anglo-French word rester, meaning "to stop, resist, or remain." In its earliest use, restive meant "sluggish" or "inactive," though this sense is no longer in use. Another early sense was "stubborn, obstinate." Specifically, restive often referred to horses that refused to do as commanded. This general application to unruly horses may have influenced the development of the "fidgety, impatient" sense of restive. Some usage commentators have objected to this newer sense, but it has been in use for well over a century, and is now the more common of the uses.
Origin and Etymology of restive
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonymsbalky, contrary, contumacious, defiant, froward, incompliant, insubordinate, intractable, obstreperous, rebel, rebellious, recalcitrant, recusant, refractory, disobedient, ungovernable, unruly, untoward, wayward, willful (or wilful)
Antonymsamenable, biddable, compliant, conformable, docile, obedient, ruly, submissive, tractable
Related Wordsnoncooperative, uncooperative; insurgent, mutinous; adamant, adamantine, dogged, hardheaded, headstrong, immovable, implacable, inflexible, mulish, negativistic, obdurate, obstinate, opinionated, peevish, pertinacious, pigheaded, rigid, self-willed, stubborn, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding; fractious, disobedient, uncontrollable, unmanageable, wild; perverse, resistant, wrongheaded; bad, disorderly, errant, misbehaving, mischievous, monkeying, monkeyish, naughty; undisciplined; dissident, nonconformist; discourteous, disrespectful, ill-bred, ill-mannered, ill-natured, impertinent, impolite, impudent, inconsiderate, insolent, ornery, rude, uncivil, uncouth, ungracious, unmannerly
Near Antonymsacquiescent, agreeable, amiable, cooperative, deferential, obliging; yielding; behaved, disciplined, well-bred; courteous, polite, respectful; kowtowing, obsequious, servile, slavish, subservient; decorous, mannerly, orderly, proper; controllable, governable, manageable, trainable
Synonym Discussion of restive
- a contrary child
- a perverse, intractable critic
- tired soldiers growing restive
- a balky witness
- a school for wayward youths
RESTIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of restive for English Language Learners
: feeling bored or impatient while waiting for something to happen or change
RESTIVE Defined for Kids
Definition of restive for Students
- a restive crowd
Seen and Heard
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