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 willful (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 The Defense Department’s lack of knowledge is in and of itself a staggering failure—one that points more to willful blindness than simple neglect. Talia Lavin, The New Republic, 17 May 2021 The greed and willful blindness must be laid at the feet of his investors and financial partners. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2021 One was the willful ignorance of American military and intelligence officers -- a failure to understand the history and culture of Afghanistan. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 30 Aug. 2021 The rest of the face-off continues to ignore the production strings at hand, giving it an air of willful ignorance. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, 10 Aug. 2021 In effect, the public was dragged from willful ignorance by the truth. The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2021 Although Facebook is a private company and entitled to its own polices, this is an example of willful corporate irresponsibility. Raul A. Reyes, CNN, 13 Aug. 2021 But season 2 confirmed that Burd and co-creator Jeff Schaffer can balance heartfelt sitcom hilarity with willful experimentation. Darren Franich, EW.com, 12 Aug. 2021 Anosognosia is not a willful denial motivated by embarrassment or obstinacy. Meg Kissinger, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Aug. 2021

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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Time Traveler for willful

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near willful

willeyer

willful

Willgerodt-Kindler reaction

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Statistics for willful

Last Updated

22 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Willful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/willful. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for willful

willful

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of willful

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

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 willful (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

More from Merriam-Webster on willful

Nglish: Translation of willful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of willful for Arabic Speakers

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