Definition of contumacious in English:



  • (especially of a defendant's behaviour) stubbornly or wilfully disobedient to authority.

    ‘his refusal to make child support payments was contumacious’
    • ‘The current law in Ontario is that, in order to be ordered to pay costs personally, a solicitor, acting in bad faith, must be guilty of outrageous conduct that is contumacious and so egregious as to engage the contempt powers of the court.’
    • ‘These contumacious students were, as students frequently are, inebriated by ideas to the point of silliness.’
    • ‘I have found him to be in wilful and contumacious breach of the injunction on him, which I am quite certain he knew perfectly well he had to obey in every respect.’
    • ‘Parliament was intending to impose a penalty on a contumacious employer who decides he is not going to give the employee the required statement.’
    stubborn, headstrong, wilful, unyielding, inflexible, unbending, intransigent, intractable, obdurate, mulish, stubborn as a mule, pig-headed, bull-headed, self-willed, strong-minded, strong-willed, contrary, perverse, recalcitrant, refractory, uncooperative, unmanageable, cross-grained, stiff-necked, stiff, rigid, steely, iron-willed, uncompromising, implacable, relentless, unrelenting, unpersuadable, immovable, unmalleable, unshakeable, inexorable, with one's feet dug in, with one's toes dug in, persistent, persevering, tenacious, pertinacious, dogged, single-minded, adamant, firm, steadfast, determined
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Late 16th century: from Latin contumax, contumac- (perhaps from con- with + tumere to swell) + -ious.