willful

or wil·ful

[wil-fuhl]
See more synonyms for willful on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. deliberate, voluntary, or intentional: The coroner ruled the death willful murder.
  2. unreasonably stubborn or headstrong; self-willed.

Origin of willful

1150–1200; Middle English; Old English wilful willing. See will2, -ful
Related formswill·ful·ly, adverbwill·ful·ness, nounhalf-will·ful, adjectivehalf-will·ful·ly, adverbhalf-will·ful·ness, nounun·will·ful, adjectiveun·will·ful·ly, adverbun·will·ful·ness, noun

Synonyms for willful

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1. volitional. 2. intransigent; contrary, refractory, pigheaded, inflexible, obdurate, adamant. Willful, headstrong, perverse, wayward refer to one who stubbornly insists upon doing as he or she pleases. Willful suggests a stubborn persistence in doing what one wishes, especially in opposition to those whose wishes or commands ought to be respected or obeyed: that willful child who disregarded his parents' advice. One who is headstrong is often foolishly, and sometimes violently, self-willed: reckless and headstrong youths. The perverse person is unreasonably or obstinately intractable or contrary, often with the express intention of being disagreeable: perverse out of sheer spite. Wayward in this sense has the connotation of rash wrongheadedness that gets one into trouble: a reform school for wayward girls.

Antonyms for willful

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


Examples from the Web for willfulness

Contemporary Examples of willfulness

  • We can feel her sensuality and willfulness in the first daguerreotype we have of Mary, taken in 1846, when she was twenty-seven.

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    Lincoln in Love

    Jerome Charyn

    February 14, 2014

Historical Examples of willfulness

  • Is my niece accounting for her willfulness in staying at home this morning?

    Rutledge

    Miriam Coles Harris

  • Freedom in this form is only willfulness, because devoid of an inward law.

    Nineteenth Century Questions

    James Freeman Clarke

  • Don't you realize what the judge will say when I show up your willfulness?

  • Because of our ignorance, our indifference, and our willfulness.

  • And then I knew how heavily Carrie's willfulness had weighed on that patient heart.

    Esther

    Rosa Nouchette Carey


British Dictionary definitions for willfulness

willful

adjective
  1. the US spelling of wilful
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 willfulness

willful

adj.

c.1200, "strong-willed," from will (n.) + -ful. Willfully is late Old English wilfullice "of one's own free will, voluntarily;" bad sense of "on purpose" is attested from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper