[kon-too-mey-shuhs, -tyoo-]


stubbornly perverse or rebellious; willfully and obstinately disobedient.

Origin of contumacious

First recorded in 1590–1600; contumacy + -ous
Related formscon·tu·ma·cious·ly, adverbcon·tu·ma·cious·ness, con·tu·mac·i·ty [kon-too-mas-i-tee, -tyoo-] /ˌkɒn tʊˈmæs ɪ ti, -tyʊ-/, nounnon·con·tu·ma·cious, adjectivenon·con·tu·ma·cious·ly, adverbnon·con·tu·ma·cious·ness, nounun·con·tu·ma·cious, adjectiveun·con·tu·ma·cious·ly, adverbun·con·tu·ma·cious·ness, noun

Synonyms for contumacious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for contumacious

Historical Examples of contumacious

  • But if I were to be contumacious, I might thank myself for all that would follow.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • But, the cardinal declared Huss contumacious, and excommunicated him accordingly.

  • “Countess, if thou be contumacious, I cannot shelter thee,” said Leo sternly.

    One Snowy Night

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • Hugh simply added excommunication to the contumacious deacon.

    Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln

    Charles L. Marson

  • Audrey was inclined to be contumacious, but she would not yield the matter so meekly.

    Lover or Friend

    Rosa Nouchette Carey

British Dictionary definitions for contumacious



stubbornly resistant to authority; wilfully obstinate
Derived Formscontumaciously, adverbcontumaciousness, noun
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 contumacious

c.1600, from Latin contumaci-, stem of contumax "haughty, insolent, obstinate" (see contumely) + -ous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper