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[ob-stuh-nit] /ˈɒb stə nɪt/
firmly or stubbornly adhering to one's purpose, opinion, etc.; not yielding to argument, persuasion, or entreaty.
characterized by inflexible persistence or an unyielding attitude; inflexibly persisted in or carried out:
obstinate advocacy of high tariffs.
not easily controlled or overcome:
the obstinate growth of weeds.
not yielding readily to treatment, as a disease.
Origin of obstinate
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin obstinātus (past participle of obstināre to set one's mind on, be determined), equivalent to ob- ob- + -stin-, combining form of stan- (derivative of stāre to stand) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
obstinately, adverb
obstinateness, noun
superobstinate, adjective
superobstinately, adverb
superobstinateness, noun
unobstinate, adjective
unobstinately, adverb
1. mulish, obdurate, unyielding, unbending, intractable, perverse, inflexible, refractory, pertinacious. See stubborn.
1. submissive, tractable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for obstinately
Historical Examples
  • One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • Walter began to breathe quickly, and his lips were agitated; then he set them obstinately.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • The latter had not opened his lips since he had so obstinately resumed his work.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • And so during the third year he obstinately toiled on a work of revolt.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • While I was obstinately persevering a plan dawned on my mind.

  • Brocq, whose eyes were obstinately lowered, saw nothing of this.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • And from that moment she obstinately refused to reply to any question that was put to her.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • But those clever men cling so obstinately to their own ideas.

  • But Pascal paid no heed to him, obstinately determined to die on his feet.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • "But I don't want to see it," the mother retorted; obstinately.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
British Dictionary definitions for obstinately


adhering fixedly to a particular opinion, attitude, course of action, etc
self-willed or headstrong
difficult to subdue or alleviate; persistent: an obstinate fever
Derived Forms
obstinately, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin obstinātus, past participle of obstināre to persist in, from ob- (intensive) + stin-, variant of stare to stand
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 obstinately



mid-14c., from Latin obstinatus "resolute, resolved, determined, inflexible, stubborn," past participle of obstinare "persist, stand stubbornly, set one's mind on," from ob "by" (see ob-) + stinare, related to stare "stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Related: Obstinately.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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obstinately in Medicine

obstinate ob·sti·nate (ŏb'stə-nĭt)

  1. Stubbornly adhering to an attitude, an opinion, or a course of action.

  2. Difficult to alleviate or cure.

ob'sti·nate·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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