• synonyms


See more synonyms for obstinate on Thesaurus.com
  1. firmly or stubbornly adhering to one's purpose, opinion, etc.; not yielding to argument, persuasion, or entreaty.
  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.
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Origin of obstinate

1350–1400; Middle English < 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) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsob·sti·nate·ly, adverbob·sti·nate·ness, nounsu·per·ob·sti·nate, adjectivesu·per·ob·sti·nate·ly, adverbsu·per·ob·sti·nate·ness, nounun·ob·sti·nate, adjectiveun·ob·sti·nate·ly, adverb


See more synonyms for obstinate on Thesaurus.com
1. mulish, obdurate, unyielding, unbending, intractable, perverse, inflexible, refractory, pertinacious. See stubborn.


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

Examples from the Web for obstinately

Historical Examples

  • One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.

    The Devil's Dictionary

    Ambrose Bierce

  • Walter began to breathe quickly, and his lips were agitated; then he set them obstinately.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • The latter had not opened his lips since he had so obstinately resumed his work.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • And so during the third year he obstinately toiled on a work of revolt.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • While I was obstinately persevering a plan dawned on my mind.

British Dictionary definitions for obstinately


  1. adhering fixedly to a particular opinion, attitude, course of action, etc
  2. self-willed or headstrong
  3. difficult to subdue or alleviate; persistentan obstinate fever
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Derived Formsobstinately, adverb

Word Origin

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



mid-14c., from Latin obstinatus "resolute, resolved, determined, inflexible, stubborn," past participle of obstinare "persist, stand stubbornly, set one's mind on," from ob "by" (see ob-) + stinare, related to stare "stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Related: Obstinately.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

obstinately in Medicine


  1. Stubbornly adhering to an attitude, opinion, or course of action.
  2. Difficult to alleviate or cure.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.