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[myoo-lish] /ˈmyu lɪʃ/
of or like a mule, as being very stubborn, obstinate, or intractable.
Origin of mulish
First recorded in 1745-55; mule1 + -ish1
Related forms
mulishly, adverb
mulishness, noun
unmulish, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mulish
Historical Examples
  • I was just mulish, I guess, because you were trying to stampede me.

    The Innocent Adventuress Mary Hastings Bradley
  • He had a will of his own; and he was obstinate, mulish, pig-headed.

    Breaking Away Oliver Optic
  • He was backing his judgment—or was it only his mulish obstinacy?

    The Man from the Bitter Roots

    Caroline Lockhart
  • They were actually the most obstinate, headstrong, mulish people that you could ever imagine.

    Wounds in the rain Stephen Crane
  • The mulish look comes into her face—the look he has begun to know so well.

    Red as a Rose is She Rhoda Broughton
  • Mr. Spokesly assumed a mulish expression and said, No, he hadn't.

    Command William McFee
  • But here, to my horror, that young man's mulish obstinacy came in.

    Allan and the Holy Flower H. Rider Haggard
  • It was a fine, young chestnut gelding with a Roman nose and long, mulish ears.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • He knew this and yet he felt obstinate, mulish almost, as he sat down to reply non-committally to Miss Van Tuyn's letter.

    December Love Robert Hichens
  • Powell mounted The Rabbit, a plain bay country-bred much like Corks, but with mulish ears.

    The Day's Work, Volume 1 Rudyard Kipling
British Dictionary definitions for mulish


stubborn; obstinate; headstrong
Derived Forms
mulishly, adverb
mulishness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for mulish

1751, from mule (n.1) + -ish. Related: Mulishly; mulishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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