[ ri-kal-si-truhnt ]
/ rɪˈkæl sɪ trənt /


resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant; refractory.
hard to deal with, manage, or operate.


a recalcitrant person.

Origin of recalcitrant

First recorded in 1835–45; from Latin recalcitrant- (stem of recalcitrāns, present participle of recalcitrāre “to kick back”), equivalent to re-re- + calcitr(āre) “to strike with the heels, kick” (derivative of calx “heel”) + -ant--ant

synonym study for recalcitrant

1. See unruly.

OTHER WORDS FROM recalcitrant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for recalcitrant

British Dictionary definitions for recalcitrant

/ (rɪˈkælsɪtrənt) /


not susceptible to control or authority; refractory


a recalcitrant person

Derived forms of recalcitrant

recalcitrance, noun

Word Origin for recalcitrant

C19: via French from Latin recalcitrāre, from re- + calcitrāre to kick, from calx heel
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