resisting control or restraint in a difficult manner; unruly.
noisy, clamorous, or boisterous: obstreperous children.

Origin of obstreperous

1590–1600; < Latin obstreperus clamorous, akin to obstrepere to make a noise at (ob- ob- + strepere to rattle); see -ous
Related formsob·strep·er·ous·ly, adverbob·strep·er·ous·ness, ob·strep·e·ros·i·ty [uhb-strep-uh-ros-i-tee] /əbˌstrɛp əˈrɒs ɪ ti/, noun

Synonyms for obstreperous

Antonyms for obstreperous

1. obedient. 2. calm.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obstreperous

Contemporary Examples of obstreperous

Historical Examples of obstreperous

  • He claims that a "little loosening up of the hide" of an obstreperous prisoner does the said prisoner a vast amount of good.

    The Twin Hells

    John N. Reynolds

  • Our Commandant, Fauad Bey, has been in a most obstreperous and belligerent mood for days.

    The Secrets of a Kuttite

    Edward O. Mousley

  • For a young woman who had prescribed outlawry as a cure for obstreperous nerves her alarm was astonishing.

    Blacksheep! Blacksheep!

    Meredith Nicholson

  • Priests were notorious for being the most ill-tempered, obstreperous, and unstable of men.

    Rastignac the Devil

    Philip Jos Farmer

  • In an instant his father's spotted hound bounded from behind the cabin, followed by four other obstreperous dogs.

    The Red Debt

    Everett MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for obstreperous



noisy or rough, esp in resisting restraint or control
Derived Formsobstreperously, adverbobstreperousness, noun

Word Origin for obstreperous

C16: from Latin, from obstrepere, from ob- against + strepere to roar
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 obstreperous

c.1600, from Latin obstreperus "clamorous," from obstrepere "drown with noise, make a noise against, oppose noisily," from ob "against" (see ob-) + strepere "make a noise," from PIE *strep-, said to be imitative (cf. Latin stertare "to snore," Old Norse þrapt "chattering," Old English þræft "quarrel"). Related: Obstreperously; obstreperousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper