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[kon-too-mey-shuhs, -tyoo-]
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  1. stubbornly perverse or rebellious; willfully and obstinately disobedient.
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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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for contumaciously

Historical Examples

  • Who snubs him so contumaciously, when he's a little chap in jackets and they young ladies already out?

    Cecil Castlemaine's Gage, Lady Marabout's Troubles, and Other Stories


  • The Archbishop formally excommunicated her as a first step, on her contumaciously refusing to surrender her rights to a usurper.

  • "It has answered pretty well up till now," said Martini contumaciously.

    The Gadfly

    E. L. Voynich

  • She represented the vanities; she was vanity itself; and now he was recklessly, contumaciously, glad of it.

    The Happy End

    Joseph Hergesheimer

  • Having so declared he had contumaciously stalked out of the room, and had banged the door after him,—very contumaciously indeed.

    Ayala's Angel

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for contumaciously


  1. stubbornly resistant to authority; wilfully obstinate
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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 contumaciously



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper