Definition of stubborn
2 : performed or carried on in an unyielding, obstinate, or persistent manner stubborn effort
3 : difficult to handle, manage, or treat a stubborn cold
4 : lasting stubborn facts
stubbornnessplay \-bər(n)-nəs\ noun
Examples of stubborn in a Sentence
Louise was not the first to posit the idea of a miniature horse ancestral to the Arab; but she was the only one stubborn enough to prove it. —Jason Elliot, Mirrors of the Unseen, 2006
To remove stubborn price tags from items like dishes and glassware, I use a cotton pad or Q-tip soaked with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol dissolves the sticky glue and doesn't mess up my manicure. —Kathe Palmucci, Real Simple, April 2003
In the search for strategies to deal with the stubborn and deadly problem of driving under the influence, many cops are turning to an unusual tactic: Recruiting volunteer drinkers and drug users to teach officers to recognize impaired drivers. —Russell Gold, Wall Street Journal, 29 Oct. 2002
She's wrong, but she's too stubborn to admit it.
I admire his stubborn refusal to quit.
trying to treat a stubborn infection
Recent Examples of stubborn from the Web
The NRA also has not been vocal about the stubborn fact that white men are responsible for most of America’s mass shootings and that the NRA’s lobbying for lax gun laws enables potential mass shooters to have easier access to weapons.
The stubborn bird had pecked at car tires, chased walkers and boldly strutted in between vehicles at Textile and Whittaker, irritating some passersby but delighting many others.
Uncertainty has hung over the gun season like a stubborn Lake Michigan fog.
There is a kind of intentional inelegance, a stubborn awkwardness to Lynch’s work, something akin to outsider art, that keeps it from ever seeming glib,soulless or less than felt.
The Tigers, starting with their GM, need to be a lot less stubborn in the coming days.
Rich in emollient olive oil, this cleanser effortlessly removes even the most stubborn of waterproof makeup, but also deposits a slew of antioxidants onto the skin, which protect from environmental, free-radical damage.
His father was the embodiment of a stubborn dad, Beans says.
At 6 feet 4 inches and weighing well over 300 pounds in his leadership years, Kohl was a physically imposing man who pursued his and his country’s political interests as Germany’s chancellor with persistent, even stubborn, determination.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stubborn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Stubborn as a Mule (or Some Other Animal)
Most of us are familiar with the expression stubborn as a mule, which some feel is unfair to this hybrid animal. In fairness to the mule, let us look at some of the other animals that the English language has seen fit to equate with stubbornness over the years. John Wolcot wrote of being “as stubborn as a halter’d ram.” In the 19th century satirical work The Family of the Seisers, a character is described as being “as stubborn as a dog-fish.” And a character in Maria Edgeworth’s play Love and Law describes her own hair as “stubborn as a Presbyterian.” These curious phrases are, however, exceptional: the mule is by far the most commonly referenced animal when describing stubbornness. We have been using as stubborn as a mule since at least 1771, when the expression appears in Tobias Smollett’s The Expedition of Humphry Clinker.
Origin and Etymology of stubborn
Middle English stibourne, stuborn
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of stubborn
STUBBORN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of stubborn for English Language Learners
: refusing to change your ideas or to stop doing something
: difficult to deal with, remove, etc.
STUBBORN Defined for Kids
Definition of stubborn for Students
1 : refusing to change an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or urging She's too stubborn to ask for help.
2 : persistent a stubborn cough
3 : difficult to handle, manage, or treat a stubborn stain
Seen and Heard
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