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2017 Word of the Year

recalcitrant

[ri-kal-si-truh nt] /rɪˈkæl sɪ trənt/
adjective
1.
resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant; refractory.
2.
hard to deal with, manage, or operate.
noun
3.
a recalcitrant person.
Origin of recalcitrant
1835-1845
1835-45; < Latin recalcitrant- (stem of recalcitrāns, present participle of recalcitrāre to kick back), equivalent to re- re- + calcitr(āre) to strike with the heels, kick (derivative of calx heel) + -ant- -ant
Related forms
recalcitrance, recalcitrancy, noun
nonrecalcitrance, noun
nonrecalcitrancy, noun
nonrecalcitrant, adjective
unrecalcitrant, adjective
Synonyms
1. resistant, rebellious, opposed. See unruly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for recalcitrant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • 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.

  • 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 Ridgwell Cullum
British Dictionary definitions for recalcitrant

recalcitrant

/rɪˈkælsɪtrənt/
adjective
1.
not susceptible to control or authority; refractory
noun
2.
a recalcitrant person
Derived Forms
recalcitrance, noun
Word Origin
C19: via French from Latin recalcitrāre, from re- + calcitrāre to kick, from calx heel
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 recalcitrant
adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for recalcitrant

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