- resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant; refractory.
- hard to deal with, manage, or operate.
- a recalcitrant person.
Origin of recalcitrant
Synonyms for recalcitrant
- not susceptible to control or authority; refractory
- a recalcitrant person
Word Origin for recalcitrant
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.