resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant; refractory.
hard to deal with, manage, or operate.
a recalcitrant person.
Origin of recalcitrant
1835–45; < Latinrecalcitrant- (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
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.