- resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant; refractory.
- hard to deal with, manage, or operate.
- a recalcitrant person.
Origin of recalcitrant
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for recalcitrance
"They are not changing their mind," Ryan said, referring to Iranian leaders' recalcitrance to curb their program.
Thus the Iranian recalcitrance, and the ensuing cycle of both sides demanding major concessions before offering any reciprocity.
She spelled “recalcitrance,” then “pernicious,” and after a halfhearted debate it was obvious that none of the three had a clue.John Grisham's Debut Short Story
October 26, 2009
I have no doubt that this recalcitrance to the crime-novel is a culpa, if not a culpa maxima.A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2
The day of the Upcott visit came, and, in spite of all recalcitrance, Roger was made to mount the motor beside his wife.Marriage la mode
Mrs. Humphry Ward
I think Oswald justified it by means of his recalcitrance, kind of a reverse self-esteem.Warren Commission (11 of 26): Hearings Vol. XI (of 15)
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
His recalcitrance—she said—was a symptom of his whole attitude; he was taking it lying down.The Forsyte Saga, Volume III.
The memorandum testifies to the strength of Bruce's hold on the country, and to the recalcitrance of Edward's barons.King Robert the Bruce
A. F. Murison
- not susceptible to control or authority; refractory
- a recalcitrant person
Word Origin and History for recalcitrance
1823, from French récalcitrant, literally "kicking back" (17c.-18c.), past participle of recalcitrare "to kick back; be inaccessible," from re- "back" (see re-) + Latin calcitrare "to kick," from calx (genitive calcis) "heel." Used from 1797 as a French word in English.