willful

adjective
will·​ful | \ ˈwil-fəl How to pronounce willful (audio) \
variants: or wilful

Definition of willful

1 : obstinately and often perversely self-willed a stubborn and willful child
2 : done deliberately : intentional willful disobedience

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Other Words from willful

willfully \ ˈwil-​fə-​lē How to pronounce willfully (audio) \ adverb
willfulness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for willful

unruly, ungovernable, intractable, refractory, recalcitrant, willful, headstrong mean not submissive to government or control. unruly implies lack of discipline or incapacity for discipline and often connotes waywardness or turbulence of behavior. unruly children ungovernable implies either an escape from control or guidance or a state of being unsubdued and incapable of controlling oneself or being controlled by others. ungovernable rage intractable suggests stubborn resistance to guidance or control. intractable opponents of the hazardous-waste dump refractory stresses resistance to attempts to manage or to mold. special schools for refractory children recalcitrant suggests determined resistance to or defiance of authority. acts of sabotage by a recalcitrant populace willful implies an obstinate determination to have one's own way. a willful disregard for the rights of others headstrong suggests self-will impatient of restraint, advice, or suggestion. a headstrong young cavalry officer

Examples of willful in a Sentence

a stubborn and willful child He has shown a willful disregard for other people's feelings.

Recent Examples on the Web

Every parent struggles at some point with willful, misbehaving children. David Roberts, Vox, "Please don’t spank your kids," 3 July 2018 Having said all that, the case against Trump for willful failure to disclose is still not a complete slam-dunk. Sean Illing, Vox, "Did Rudy Giuliani just get Trump in legal trouble? I asked 11 legal experts.," 3 May 2018 Bowman still faces four counts of willful failure to file tax returns, a misdemeanor. Maxine Bernstein, OregonLive.com, "Man who cites opposition to abortion for not paying taxes wins Round 1 in court," 12 Apr. 2018 Bedwell and Hale were booked in the South Placer Jail on suspicion of child stealing, willful cruelty to a child, conspiracy to commit a crime and obstructing officers. Cathy Locke, sacbee, "Mother accused of abducting child during supervised visitation," 9 Feb. 2018 The charge was added to others, including willful neglect of duty, misconduct in office, and lying to a peace officer. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Doc charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint crisis wins top health award," 12 Oct. 2018 Out of about 40 states with laws that can take licenses away for these debts, only a few require showing that the failure to pay is willful, the group says. New York Times, "Being Poor Can Mean Losing a Driver’s License. Not Anymore in Tennessee.," 4 July 2018 Thompson appealed, arguing in part that evidence showed her failure to pay was not willful or substantial. OrlandoSentinel.com, "Single mom jailed for failing to pay $947 in court costs loses legal fight," 17 May 2018 The jury ruled that the infringement was willful, and said that Samsung must pay Apple $1.05 billion. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "Apple and Samsung Are in Court Again Today. Here's Why," 14 May 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for willful

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for willful

The first known use of willful was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for willful

willful

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of willful

disapproving
: refusing to change your ideas or opinions or to stop doing something
: done deliberately

willful

adjective
will·​ful
variants: or wilful \ ˈwil-​fəl \

Kids Definition of willful

1 : stubborn sense 1 willful children
2 : intentional willful disobedience

Other Words from willful

willfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb
willfulness noun

willful

adjective
will·​ful
variants: or wilful \ ˈwil-​fəl How to pronounce wilful (audio) \

Legal Definition of willful

: not accidental : done deliberately or knowingly and often in conscious violation or disregard of the law, duty, or the rights of others willful injury

Other Words from willful

willfully adverb
willfulness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on willful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with willful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for willful

Spanish Central: Translation of willful

Nglish: Translation of willful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of willful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on willful

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