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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for obstinately
Historical Examples
  • And for another we are going to hope that a real court will not be so obstinately suspicious as this Scotchman.

    Stranded in Arcady Francis Lynde
  • Let him alone, Brisk, he is obstinately bent not to be instructed.

  • All this time the steady man hung on obstinately; nothing seemed to puzzle him or tempt him out of his caution.

    The Willoughby Captains Talbot Baines Reed
  • "But, sir, it is impossible; I can't let you see it," she said obstinately.

    Nobody's Girl Hector Malot
  • Might not Julien be the fortunate rival on whom Reine's affections were so obstinately set?

  • "What the letter says cannot go against facts," said the blind man, obstinately.

    Nobody's Girl Hector Malot
  • Here he paused and obstinately grasped the golden handle of the pitcher again.

  • I begin to understand why you cling so obstinately to Harmouth.

  • And as she was obstinately silent he said once more: "Anna, what are you thinking of?"

    The Road to the Open Arthur Schnitzler
  • Hoffland, however, drew back, and obstinately closed his hands.

    The Youth of Jefferson J. E. Cooke.
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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