[ stuhb-ern ]
See synonyms for: stubbornstubbornlystubbornness on

  1. unreasonably obstinate; obstinately unmoving: a stubborn child.

  2. fixed or set in purpose or opinion; resolute: a stubborn opponent of foreign aid.

  1. obstinately maintained, as a course of action: a stubborn resistance.

  2. difficult to manage or suppress: a stubborn horse; a stubborn pain.

  3. hard, tough, or stiff, as stone or wood; difficult to shape or work.

Origin of stubborn

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English stiborn(e), styborne, stuborn; origin uncertain

synonym study For stubborn

2. Stubborn, dogged, obstinate, persistent imply fixity of purpose or condition and resistance to change. Stubborn and obstinate both imply resistance to advice, entreaty, remonstrance, or force; but stubborn implies more of innate quality and is the more frequently used when referring to inanimate things: stubborn disposition; stubborn difficulties. Dogged implies pertinacity and grimness in doing something, especially in the face of discouragements: dogged determination. Persistent implies having staying or lasting qualities, resoluteness, and perseverance: persistent questioning.

Other words for stubborn

Opposites for stubborn

Other words from stubborn

  • stub·born·ly, adverb
  • stub·born·ness, noun
  • pre·stub·born, adjective
  • un·stub·born, adjective
  • un·stub·born·ly, adverb
  • un·stub·born·ness, noun

Words Nearby stubborn Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use stubborn in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stubborn


/ (ˈstʌbən) /

  1. refusing to comply, agree, or give in; obstinate

  2. difficult to handle, treat, or overcome

  1. persistent and dogged: a stubborn crusade

Origin of stubborn

C14 stoborne, of obscure origin

Derived forms of stubborn

  • stubbornly, adverb
  • stubbornness, noun

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