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restive

[res-tiv] /ˈrɛs tɪv/
adjective
1.
impatient of control, restraint, or delay, as persons; restless; uneasy.
2.
refractory; stubborn.
3.
refusing to go forward; balky:
a restive horse.
Origin of restive
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; rest2 + -ive; replacing late Middle English restif stationary, balking < Old French: inert
Related forms
restively, adverb
restiveness, noun
Can be confused
restful, restive.
Synonyms
1. nervous, unquiet. 2. recalcitrant, disobedient, obstinate.
Antonyms
1. patient, quiet. 2. obedient, tractable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for restive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The horse was restive, looking over its shoulder at him, not liking what was going on.

  • Under all these restrictions the colonies were not as yet restive.

    The Siege of Boston Allen French
  • Many of them are nervous and restive, and not easily approached.

    Cattle and Their Diseases Robert Jennings
  • Underneath it every horse was restive and every voice had an edge.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • He dropped from the omnibus at the park entrance, where he found his restive mare.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
British Dictionary definitions for restive

restive

/ˈrɛstɪv/
adjective
1.
restless, nervous, or uneasy
2.
impatient of control or authority
Derived Forms
restively, adverb
restiveness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French restif balky, from rester to remain
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 restive
adj.

early 15c., restyffe "not moving forward," from Middle French restif "motionless, brought to a standstill" (Modern French rétif), from rester "to remain" (see rest (n.2)). Sense of "unmanageable" (1680s) evolved via notion of a horse refusing to go forward.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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