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stubborn

[stuhb-ern]
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adjective
  1. unreasonably obstinate; obstinately unmoving: a stubborn child.
  2. fixed or set in purpose or opinion; resolute: a stubborn opponent of foreign aid.
  3. obstinately maintained, as a course of action: a stubborn resistance.
  4. difficult to manage or suppress: a stubborn horse; a stubborn pain.
  5. hard, tough, or stiff, as stone or wood; difficult to shape or work.
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Origin of stubborn

1350–1400; Middle English stiborn(e), styborne, stuborn < ?
Related formsstub·born·ly, adverbstub·born·ness, nounpre·stub·born, adjectiveun·stub·born, adjectiveun·stub·born·ly, adverbun·stub·born·ness, noun

Synonyms for stubborn

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1. contrary, intractable, refractory, unyielding, headstrong, obdurate. 2. persevering. 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.

Antonyms for stubborn

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for stubborn

Contemporary Examples of stubborn

Historical Examples of stubborn

  • Will you go down, and humble that stubborn spirit of yours to your mamma?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • You cannot conceive in your mind how stubborn and brainless they are.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • There was no least relaxation in the stubborn lines of his face.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • And yet, when all has been said, we are confronted with a mournful but stubborn fact.

  • It is undoubtedly better to deceive him entirely, and since he will be stubborn he must be tricked.

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen


British Dictionary definitions for stubborn

stubborn

adjective
  1. refusing to comply, agree, or give in; obstinate
  2. difficult to handle, treat, or overcome
  3. persistent and doggeda stubborn crusade
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Derived Formsstubbornly, adverbstubbornness, noun

Word Origin for stubborn

C14 stoborne, of obscure origin
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 stubborn

adj.

late 14c., of uncertain origin. Earliest form is stiborn. OED, Liberman doubt any connection with stub (n.). Related: Stubbornly; stubbornness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper