Synonyms & Antonyms of headstrong

2 sticking to an opinion, purpose, or course of action in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion
  • the tenants of the building remain headstrong in their determination not to be evicted by the developer

Synonyms for headstrong

Words Related to headstrong

Phrases Synonymous with headstrong

Near Antonyms for headstrong

Antonyms for headstrong

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About headstrong

How does the adjective headstrong differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of headstrong are intractable, recalcitrant, refractory, ungovernable, unruly, and willful. While all these words mean "not submissive to government or control," headstrong suggests self-will impatient of restraint, advice, or suggestion.

a headstrong young cavalry officer

When can intractable be used instead of headstrong?

The words intractable and headstrong are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, intractable suggests stubborn resistance to guidance or control.

intractable opponents of the hazardous-waste dump

When would recalcitrant be a good substitute for headstrong?

The words recalcitrant and headstrong can be used in similar contexts, but recalcitrant suggests determined resistance to or defiance of authority.

acts of sabotage by a recalcitrant populace

When could refractory be used to replace headstrong?

While in some cases nearly identical to headstrong, refractory stresses resistance to attempts to manage or to mold.

special schools for refractory children

When might ungovernable be a better fit than headstrong?

The meanings of ungovernable and headstrong largely overlap; however, 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

Where would unruly be a reasonable alternative to headstrong?

While the synonyms unruly and headstrong are close in meaning, unruly implies lack of discipline or incapacity for discipline and often connotes waywardness or turbulence of behavior.

unruly children

In what contexts can willful take the place of headstrong?

In some situations, the words willful and headstrong are roughly equivalent. However, willful implies an obstinate determination to have one's own way.

a willful disregard for the rights of others

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about headstrong

Time Traveler for headstrong

Time Traveler

The first known use of headstrong was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Headstrong.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on headstrong

Dictionary: Definition of headstrong

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with headstrong

Spanish Central: Translation of headstrong

Nglish: Translation of headstrong for Spanish Speakers

Comments on headstrong

What made you want to look up headstrong? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!