restive was our Word of the Day on 09/30/2007. Hear the podcast!
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
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
Middle English restyf, from Anglo-French restif, from rester to stop, resist, remain
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of restive
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
: showing impatience, nervousness, or discomfort a restive crowd
Seen and Heard
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