Synonyms & Antonyms of ungovernable

1 given to resisting authority or another's control
  • a handful of ungovernable students are disrupting the learning environment for everyone else

Synonyms for ungovernable

Words Related to ungovernable

Near Antonyms for ungovernable

Antonyms for ungovernable

2 given to resisting control or discipline by others
  • resigned to the fact that my cat is basically is an ungovernable beast with a will of his own

Synonyms for ungovernable

Words Related to ungovernable

Phrases Synonymous with ungovernable

Near Antonyms for ungovernable

Antonyms for ungovernable

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About ungovernable

How does the adjective ungovernable differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of ungovernable are headstrong, intractable, recalcitrant, refractory, unruly, and willful. While all these words mean "not submissive to government or control," 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

When could headstrong be used to replace ungovernable?

The words headstrong and ungovernable can be used in similar contexts, but headstrong suggests self-will impatient of restraint, advice, or suggestion.

a headstrong young cavalry officer

When can intractable be used instead of ungovernable?

The meanings of intractable and ungovernable largely overlap; however, intractable suggests stubborn resistance to guidance or control.

intractable opponents of the hazardous-waste dump

In what contexts can recalcitrant take the place of ungovernable?

The words recalcitrant and ungovernable are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, recalcitrant suggests determined resistance to or defiance of authority.

acts of sabotage by a recalcitrant populace

When is refractory a more appropriate choice than ungovernable?

In some situations, the words refractory and ungovernable are roughly equivalent. However, refractory stresses resistance to attempts to manage or to mold.

special schools for refractory children

When is it sensible to use unruly instead of ungovernable?

Although the words unruly and ungovernable have much in common, unruly implies lack of discipline or incapacity for discipline and often connotes waywardness or turbulence of behavior.

unruly children

When would willful be a good substitute for ungovernable?

While in some cases nearly identical to ungovernable, willful implies an obstinate determination to have one's own way.

a willful disregard for the rights of others

Learn More About ungovernable

Time Traveler for ungovernable

Time Traveler

The first known use of ungovernable was in 1673

See more words from the same year

Thesaurus Entries Near ungovernable




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Ungovernable.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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