unruly

[ uhn-roo-lee ]
/ ʌnˈru li /

adjective, un·ru·li·er, un·ru·li·est.

not submissive or conforming to rule; ungovernable; turbulent; intractable; refractory; lawless: an unruly class; an unruly wilderness.

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Origin of unruly

1350–1400; Middle English unruely, equivalent to un- un-1 + ruly, ruely governable, controllable; see rule, -y1

SYNONYMS FOR unruly

disobedient, unmanageable, uncontrollable, stubborn, disorderly, riotous. Unruly, intractable, recalcitrant, refractory describe persons or things that resist management or control. Unruly suggests persistently disorderly behavior or character in persons or things: an unruly child, peevish and willful; wild, unruly hair. Intractable suggests in persons a determined resistance to all attempts to guide or direct them, in things a refusal to respond to attempts to shape, improve, or modify them: an intractable social rebel; a seemingly intractable problem in logistics. recalcitrant and refractory imply not only a lack of submissiveness but also an open, often violent, rebellion against authority or direction. Recalcitrant, the stronger of the two terms, suggests a stubborn and absolute noncompliance: a recalcitrant person, openly contemptuous of all authority. Refractory implies active, mulish disobedience, but leaves open the possibility of eventual compliance: refractory students, resisting efforts to interest them in their studies.

OTHER WORDS FROM unruly

un·ru·li·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for unruly

British Dictionary definitions for unruly

unruly
/ (ʌnˈruːlɪ) /

adjective -lier or -liest

disposed to disobedience or indiscipline

Derived forms of unruly

unruliness, 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