View synonyms for obstinate


[ ob-stuh-nit ]


  1. firmly or stubbornly adhering to one's purpose, opinion, etc.; not yielding to argument, persuasion, or entreaty.

    Synonyms: pertinacious, refractory, inflexible, perverse, intractable, unbending, unyielding, obdurate, mulish

    Antonyms: tractable, submissive

  2. characterized by inflexible persistence or an unyielding attitude; inflexibly persisted in or carried out:

    obstinate advocacy of high tariffs.

  3. not easily controlled or overcome:

    the obstinate growth of weeds.

  4. not yielding readily to treatment, as a disease.


/ ˈɒbstɪnɪt /


  1. adhering fixedly to a particular opinion, attitude, course of action, etc
  2. self-willed or headstrong
  3. difficult to subdue or alleviate; persistent

    an obstinate fever

“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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Derived Forms

  • ˈobstinately, adverb
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Other Words From

  • obsti·nate·ly adverb
  • obsti·nate·ness noun
  • super·obsti·nate adjective
  • super·obsti·nate·ly adverb
  • super·obsti·nate·ness noun
  • un·obsti·nate adjective
  • un·obsti·nate·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of obstinate1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin obstinātus (past participle of obstināre “to set one's mind on, be determined”), equivalent to ob- ob- + -stin-, combining form of stan- (derivative of stāre “to stand,” stand ) + -ātus -ate 1
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Word History and Origins

Origin of obstinate1

C14: from Latin obstinātus, past participle of obstināre to persist in, from ob- (intensive) + stin-, variant of stare to stand
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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

Those who may have been obstinate about the vaccines when called by a pollster seem to have been a bit more flexible when called by their bosses.

In Illinois, one parent was so obstinate in her refusal to properly wear her mask, she was arrested and banned from school grounds.

While some people may face legitimate obstacles, others are just obstinate.

From Vox

Her call was greeted with skepticism by some who see unions as having been overly cautious or outright obstinate.

In practice, though, it’s a mechanism that allows a lone obstinate voice to deny the majority the ability to govern.

From Time

Obstinate Pierre refuses to care about anything, even when a passing lion threatens to eat him.

The president also learned that the Palestinians and the Arab states were every bit as obstinate as Netanyahu.

The more the Republicans lose, the more stubborn and obstinate they become.

It is the story of a village of unlikely Davids going up against a notoriously obstinate governmental Goliath.

He predicted the embattled and obstinate leader will fall in a matter of days.

The battle was for a long time maintained by both armies with obstinate energy.

Now this is what we call a "pursuit of knowledge under difficulties" of the most obstinate kind.

Obstinate as he was, the girl's frank honesty conquered the angry old man.

They are sometimes obstinate and are desperate fighters, squealing and neighing on all occasions.

The men in charge of the boat were slow and obstinate, and consequently it took a long time for all to get across the river.