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[uh b-strep-er-uh s] /əbˈstrɛp ər əs/
resisting control or restraint in a difficult manner; unruly.
noisy, clamorous, or boisterous:
obstreperous children.
Origin of obstreperous
1590-1600; < Latin obstreperus clamorous, akin to obstrepere to make a noise at (ob- ob- + strepere to rattle); see -ous
Related forms
obstreperously, adverb
obstreperousness, obstreperosity
[uh b-strep-uh-ros-i-tee] /əbˌstrɛp əˈrɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
1. uncontrolled, refractory.
1. obedient. 2. calm. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for obstreperous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She disposed of that obstreperous individual most summarily.

  • And presently Jan was sleeping almost as soundly as her obstreperous niece.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • Little Fay was as obstreperous as Tony was disagreeably silent and aloof.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • The obstreperous mother of the pretended groom was—Captain Loreuil!

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • "None of your tricks on travelers," said he, in his obstreperous way.

British Dictionary definitions for obstreperous


noisy or rough, esp in resisting restraint or control
Derived Forms
obstreperously, adverb
obstreperousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, from obstrepere, from ob- against + strepere to roar
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 obstreperous

c.1600, from Latin obstreperus "clamorous," from obstrepere "drown with noise, make a noise against, oppose noisily," from ob "against" (see ob-) + strepere "make a noise," from PIE *strep-, said to be imitative (cf. Latin stertare "to snore," Old Norse þrapt "chattering," Old English þræft "quarrel"). Related: Obstreperously; obstreperousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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