- deliberate, voluntary, or intentional: The coroner ruled the death willful murder.
- unreasonably stubborn or headstrong; self-willed.
Origin of willful
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. volitional. 2. intransigent; contrary, refractory, pigheaded, inflexible, obdurate, adamant. Willful, headstrong, perverse, wayward refer to one who stubbornly insists upon doing as he or she pleases. Willful suggests a stubborn persistence in doing what one wishes, especially in opposition to those whose wishes or commands ought to be respected or obeyed: that willful child who disregarded his parents' advice. One who is headstrong is often foolishly, and sometimes violently, self-willed: reckless and headstrong youths. The perverse person is unreasonably or obstinately intractable or contrary, often with the express intention of being disagreeable: perverse out of sheer spite. Wayward in this sense has the connotation of rash wrongheadedness that gets one into trouble: a reform school for wayward girls.
2. obedient, tractable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for willfully
To do so is to deify a celebrity for being what we need them to be, while willfully ignoring who they really are.Phylicia Rashad and the Cult of Cosby Truthers
January 8, 2015
At best, his administration appeared exceptionally lax, and at worst, it willfully obstructed justice.The Orthodox Sex Abuse Crackdown That Wasn’t
October 7, 2014
When she tried to explain to him that he himself could be a carrier, he “willfully ignored what [she] said.”The Silent Shame of HPV
August 29, 2014
Y is by no means a right-wing hawk, but he is willfully blind, deaf and dumb.Peace Process Problem: The Average Israeli
June 24, 2013
Still, I continue to like and value Peter, even if he chooses to willfully misrepresent me and my views.Peter Beinart’s Bias Against Me, Cory Booker, and Israel
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
June 14, 2013
If Bill had been caught napping, he must have willfully gone to sleep.The Twins of Suffering Creek
But the spirit of jest made the boss reckless and willfully disobedient.Joan of Arc of the North Woods
But the being who willfully creates pain and evil cannot be benevolent.The Necessity of Atheism
Dr. D.M. Brooks
We were like sheep, blindly, willfully following an unwise leader.A Ribband of Blue
J. Hudson Taylor
So, never even question again if I could hurt you willfully.The Forsaken Inn
Anna Katharine Green
- the US spelling of wilful
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
Word Origin and History for willfully
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper