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recalcitrant

[ri-kal-si-truh nt]
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adjective
  1. resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant; refractory.
  2. hard to deal with, manage, or operate.
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noun
  1. a recalcitrant person.
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Origin of recalcitrant

1835–45; < 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
Related formsre·cal·ci·trance, re·cal·ci·tran·cy, nounnon·re·cal·ci·trance, nounnon·re·cal·ci·tran·cy, nounnon·re·cal·ci·trant, adjectiveun·re·cal·ci·trant, adjective

Synonyms

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1. resistant, rebellious, opposed. See unruly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for recalcitrants

Historical Examples

  • Nevertheless, if you oblige me to, you will make the acquaintance of the jail for recalcitrants.

    The Brass Bell

    Eugne Sue

  • There they stood, looking like two recalcitrants that would not.

    Wanderers

    Knut Hamsun

  • In September the recalcitrants came before the King at Stirling.

  • On the 19th, in accordance with this notice, the provisions of the recalcitrants were stopped.

  • He evidently thought that it would be very wholesome if government should become incensed and severe with the recalcitrants.

    Benjamin Franklin

    John Torrey Morse, Jr.


British Dictionary definitions for recalcitrants

recalcitrant

adjective
  1. not susceptible to control or authority; refractory
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noun
  1. a recalcitrant person
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Derived Formsrecalcitrance, noun

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for recalcitrants

recalcitrant

adj.

1823, from French récalcitrant, literally "kicking back" (17c.-18c.), past participle of recalcitrare "to kick back; be inaccessible," from re- "back" (see re-) + Latin calcitrare "to kick," from calx (genitive calcis) "heel." Used from 1797 as a French word in English.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper