- 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 recalcitrants
Nevertheless, if you oblige me to, you will make the acquaintance of the jail for recalcitrants.The Brass Bell
There they stood, looking like two recalcitrants that would not.Wanderers
In September the recalcitrants came before the King at Stirling.James VI and the Gowrie Mystery
On the 19th, in accordance with this notice, the provisions of the recalcitrants were stopped.A Social History of The American Negro
He evidently thought that it would be very wholesome if government should become incensed and severe with the recalcitrants.Benjamin Franklin
John Torrey Morse, Jr.
- not susceptible to control or authority; refractory
- a recalcitrant person
Word Origin and History for recalcitrants
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.