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adamant

[ad-uh-muh nt, -mant]
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adjective
  1. utterly unyielding in attitude or opinion in spite of all appeals, urgings, etc.
  2. too hard to cut, break, or pierce.
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noun
  1. any impenetrably or unyieldingly hard substance.
  2. a legendary stone of impenetrable hardness, formerly sometimes identified with the diamond.
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Origin of adamant

before 900; Middle English < Old French adamaunt < Latin adamant- (stem of adamas) hard metal (perhaps steel), diamond < Greek, equivalent to a- a-6 + -damant- verbal adjective of damân to tame, conquer; replacing Old English athamans (< Medieval Latin) and Middle English aymont < Middle French aimant < Vulgar Latin *adimant- < Latin
Related formsad·a·man·cy [ad-uh-muh n-see] /ˈæd ə mən si/, ad·a·mance, nounad·a·mant·ly, adverbun·ad·a·mant, adjective

Synonyms

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1. inflexible, rigid, uncompromising.

Antonyms

1. flexible, easygoing, yielding.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for adamant

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Virtue is an adamant that is sacred and secure from all their efforts.

    Imogen

    William Godwin

  • Imogen was deaf to their expostulations, and indurate and callous as adamant to their persuasions.

    Imogen

    William Godwin

  • "Oh, do let's stay till it's all done," she urged, but Bruce and Elinor were adamant.

    Miss Pat at School

    Pemberton Ginther

  • I begin to believe she is made of adamant instead of what other women are made of.

    The Midnight Queen

    May Agnes Fleming

  • A firm tread had Mother Scoville, a light hand with pastry, and a will that was adamant.

    Gigolo

    Edna Ferber


British Dictionary definitions for adamant

adamant

adjective
  1. unshakable in purpose, determination, or opinion; unyielding
  2. a less common word for adamantine (def. 1)
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noun
  1. any extremely hard or apparently unbreakable substance
  2. a legendary stone said to be impenetrable, often identified with the diamond or loadstone
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Derived Formsadamantly, adverb

Word Origin

Old English: from Latin adamant-, stem of adamas, from Greek; literal meaning perhaps: unconquerable, from a- 1 + daman to tame, conquer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for adamant

adj.

late 14c., "hard, unbreakable," from adamant (n.). Figurative sense of "unshakeable" first recorded 1670s. Related: Adamantly; adamance.

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n.

mid-14c., from Old French adamant and directly from Latin adamantem (nominative adamas) "adamant, hardest iron, steel," also figuratively, of character, from Greek adamas (genitive adamantos) "unbreakable, inflexible" metaphoric of anything unalterable, also the name of a hypothetical hardest material, perhaps literally "invincible," from a- "not" + daman "to conquer, to tame" (see tame (adj.)), or else a word of foreign origin altered to conform to Greek.

Applied in antiquity to white sapphire, magnet (perhaps via confusion with Latin adamare "to love passionately"), steel, emery stone, and especially diamond (see diamond). The word was in Old English as aðamans "a very hard stone."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper