willful

adjective
will·ful | \ ˈwil-fəl \
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 \ 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

My doctors have been working hard on me, establishing a treatment plan and plotting the likely course that this willful, unpredictable disease is likely to take this time around. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Inward Empire," 27 June 2018 According to the defense, Winner’s plea decision was heavily influenced by the nature of the Espionage Act, which considers only the willful nature of the disclosure and its impact on national security. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Reality Winner accepts guilty plea for 63 months in prison on espionage charge," 26 June 2018 He was charged with fleeing and eluding, willful wanton disregard for safety and red-light violation. Andy Attina / Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Man turns self in after fleeing from officer: Mayfield Village Police Blotter," 25 Apr. 2018 One indication of willful disregard of the matter: Wilsey’s insistence that there has been little turnover at the top. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "What should we look for in the next Fine Arts Museums leader?," 13 Apr. 2018 That, along with the willful ignorance of looking a fact square in the face and proclaiming it false, is a tremendous danger. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "The Capital Gazette is publishing on Friday. Damn straight it is," 28 June 2018 The human condition is all about self-deception and willful ignorance of the true nature of things. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Why do we ever do family movie night? It’s hell," 4 May 2018 Hip-hop has, any traditionalists will tell you, been playing with willful incoherence in other ways lately, too. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Lives in Kanye West’s ‘Ghost Town’," 14 June 2018 Lindsey was on felony probation after pleading no contest to charges of arson of a dwelling, willful fleeing or eluding law enforcement and domestic battery. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Why wasn't Orlando hostage taker who killed four kids behind bars?," 13 June 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

5 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

: 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 \

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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Comments on willful

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