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See more synonyms for mulish on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or like a mule, as being very stubborn, obstinate, or intractable.
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Origin of mulish

First recorded in 1745–55; mule1 + -ish1
Related formsmul·ish·ly, adverbmul·ish·ness, nounun·mul·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for mulishness

Historical Examples

  • When very highly developed with the reasoning powers weak it often manifests as stubborness, mulishness, obstinacy, etc.

    How to Read Human Nature

    William Walker Atkinson

  • He put it down to his own mulishness that he had hung on and had learned through the little boy of her removal from the palace.

    The Palace of Darkened Windows

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • "Humph," half laughed the lawyer, though with obvious disgust at the mulishness in Peter's face and voice.

British Dictionary definitions for mulishness


  1. stubborn; obstinate; headstrong
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Derived Formsmulishly, adverbmulishness, 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 mulishness



1751, from mule (n.1) + -ish. Related: Mulishly; mulishness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper