Definition of intransigent in English:



  • Unwilling or refusing to change one's views or to agree about something.

    ‘her father had tried persuasion, but she was intransigent’
    • ‘It would be politically expedient to withdraw them, but the reason for their presence is an intransigent regime that refuses to do anything to allay suspicions that it is developing weapons of mass destruction.’
    • ‘For this lifelong Londoner and intransigent radical, the city was always two-fold.’
    • ‘For one, it is even more rigidly unable to cope with changes in the pool than an old industrial firm coping with an intransigent union.’
    • ‘In line with a recent select committee report, he backs more reconciliation and greater court powers against intransigent parents.’
    • ‘To many of his compatriots, this intransigent defender of French grandeur saved the honor of the nation during World War II and restored its institutions and status.’
    • ‘Millions of pounds of public money have been poured into campaigns designed to convince intransigent bottle-users of the error of their ways.’
    • ‘Although the tax cut helped ignite a boom on Wall Street, it didn't do much to change the tune of the city's intransigent legislators.’
    • ‘It's easy to get all fired up and angry about such ostensible intransigent clericalism, but I think we need to know more about this situation.’
    • ‘Lake Ontario Waterkeeper's approach is unique in that it avoids that often intransigent debate altogether, maintaining that it's up to the city to find cleanup solutions.’
    • ‘Management's intransigent attitude in bargaining is a real slap in the face for employees whose valuable contributions help make Canada's food safety and inspection system one of the best in the world.’
    • ‘I am still proud to call myself Australian, although I am embarrassed that my government is proving so intransigent and stubborn.’
    • ‘They have at times had to withstand considerable provocation from intransigent bigots on the extreme wing of unionism.’
    • ‘Steel unions blame the company's intransigent management, the ease with which workers can be axed in the UK and the punitive strength of sterling for the latest cuts.’
    • ‘Indeed, in my experience in this school a number of years ago, I had to deal with a very difficult and potentially dangerous situation of intransigent conflict between two groups of pupils who defined themselves along racial lines.’
    • ‘But this particular play with the dualities of public and private, viewer and viewed, in the intransigent space of a commercial gallery, fell short of an emancipatory vision.’
    • ‘They effectively suspended the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement on behalf of intransigent unionists, and are now in the process of jettisoning it without any reference to the referendum result, north and south.’
    • ‘One more sour and intransigent despot finds his end.’
    • ‘Where management has been intransigent or arrogant, he has let his views be known to fellow investors or made certain that they have been aired in the financial press.’
    • ‘But it looks like I might have to so because Sligo County Council are proving very intransigent on this issue.’
    • ‘‘We put a number of scenarios to them to try and get something in the package for everybody but they were very intransigent, they refused to move,’ he said.’
    uncompromising, inflexible, unbending, unyielding, unshakeable, unwavering, resolute, unpersuadable, unmalleable, unaccommodating, uncooperative, stubborn, obstinate, obdurate, pig-headed, bull-headed, single-minded, iron-willed, hard-line, hard and fast, diehard, immovable, unrelenting, inexorable, inveterate, rigid, tough, firm, determined, adamant, tenacious
    balky, badass
    View synonyms


  • An intransigent person.

    • ‘Without mentioning the United States government by name, she refers to its intransigents in refusing to help international efforts to keep research safe, and she hopes other governments will strengthen preventive measures without it.’
    • ‘The intransigents I saw were old men - they won't speak to the media.’
    • ‘This caused a major crisis for the Fascist Party, however, as thousands of new adherents rushed to jump on the bandwagon, and the rapid expansion in membership split the party into rival camps of moderates and intransigents.’
    • ‘The tranquillity of the image is a proclamation of Ireland's return to peace after long years of armed conflict, first with the British and then with its own intransigents.’
    • ‘At Camp David he had the opportunity to be a real President, but he has spent his life as a professional intransigent, and could not change.’
    • ‘Instead, the conclave of 1903 elected Pius X, whom the Italian government had dubbed ‘the most intransigent of the intransigents.’’


Late 19th century: from French intransigeant, from Spanish los intransigentes (a name adopted by the extreme republicans in the Cortes, 1873–4); based on Latin in- not + transigere come to an understanding.