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See more synonyms for obstreperous on Thesaurus.com
  1. resisting control or restraint in a difficult manner; unruly.
  2. noisy, clamorous, or boisterous: obstreperous children.
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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


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1. obedient. 2. calm.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for obstreperousness

Historical Examples

  • Diogenes finally convalesced to his former state of ruggedness and obstreperousness.

    Our Next-Door Neighbors

    Belle Kanaris Maniates

  • The visitor from across the Atlantic is surprised at the obstreperousness of the more vigorous members of the family.

    Humanly Speaking

    Samuel McChord Crothers

British Dictionary definitions for obstreperousness


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

Word Origin

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 obstreperousness



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper