- 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 recalcitrant
The first hint of the double-toilet-style operations issues came as the recalcitrant fifth Olympic ring refused to open.Sochi’s Impenetrable, Utterly Russian Opening Ceremony
Kelly Williams Brown
February 8, 2014
“The issue of the recalcitrant National Guards is being worked at very high levels,” he said.States Seek to Turn Back Clock on Military Gay Couples With Marriage Rights
November 28, 2013
These willfully ignorant, recalcitrant obstructionists are doing the country a tremendous service.Red States Respond To Obamacare With Angry Tea-Party Denial
March 20, 2013
Shame and ostracism are not guaranteed to be effective; like the recalcitrant husband, Israel may indeed dig in.
But in terms of the power equation, Israel is the recalcitrant husband and the Palestinian people, the agunah.
It is not written for the encouragement of recalcitrant boys.
He dropped into the boat, seating himself to face the recalcitrant Mulready.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
"I b'lieve Judge More will," the recalcitrant admitted, and rode on.Southern Lights and Shadows
They are so many turns of the screw, just to let the recalcitrant feel what can be done.Ireland as It Is
Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
And it was Beasley himself who finally challenged the recalcitrant Sadie.The Golden Woman
- not susceptible to control or authority; refractory
- a recalcitrant person
Word Origin and History for recalcitrant
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.