Synonyms & Antonyms of stubborn

sticking to an opinion, purpose, or course of action in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion
  • he's just being stubborn, refusing even to try the new toothpaste

Synonyms for stubborn

Words Related to stubborn

Phrases Synonymous with stubborn

Near Antonyms for stubborn

Antonyms for stubborn

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About stubborn

How is the word stubborn distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of stubborn are dogged, mulish, obstinate, and pertinacious. While all these words mean "fixed and unyielding in course or purpose," stubborn implies sturdiness in resisting change which may or may not be admirable.

a person too stubborn to admit error

When might dogged be a better fit than stubborn?

The meanings of dogged and stubborn largely overlap; however, dogged suggests an admirable often tenacious and unwavering persistence.

pursued the story with dogged perseverance

When is it sensible to use mulish instead of stubborn?

Although the words mulish and stubborn have much in common, mulish implies a thoroughly unreasonable obstinacy.

a mulish determination to have his own way

In what contexts can obstinate take the place of stubborn?

The synonyms obstinate and stubborn are sometimes interchangeable, but obstinate implies usually an unreasonable persistence.

an obstinate proponent of conspiracy theories

When could pertinacious be used to replace stubborn?

While in some cases nearly identical to stubborn, pertinacious suggests an annoying or irksome persistence.

a pertinacious salesclerk refusing to take no for an answer

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stubborn

Time Traveler for stubborn

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Stubborn.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on stubborn

Dictionary: Definition of stubborn

Nglish: Translation of stubborn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stubborn for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stubborn

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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