Definition of obstinate in English:



  • 1Stubbornly refusing to change one's opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.

    ‘her obstinate determination to pursue a career in radio’
    • ‘In his prose he becomes a powerful presence, a personality with obstinate opinions and sardonic asides.’
    • ‘Parents should back off when their teen is moody - teenagers very often don't even know the reason for their mood change and it can go from sad to happy, from obstinate to cooperative within a short time.’
    • ‘From what he knew, Miette was obstinate, so stubborn that it was odd to see her even shed a tear from physical pain, let alone emotional.’
    • ‘But, as the obstinate refusers show, it is possible to opt out of particular activities because others will happily take them on.’
    • ‘He is proving to be about as obstinate, determined and defiant as I.’
    • ‘Taureans, signified by the bull, were often described as obstinate and inflexible, while Pisceans could be risk-takers and daredevils.’
    • ‘Being the obstinate set of girls they were, the debate would carry on until one of them had decided it best to just kill the subject.’
    • ‘They retain their anger for a long time and are obstinate in their opinions.’
    • ‘He was familiar with her obstinate behaviour, and knew that any attempt to dissuade her from doing what she wanted would only invoke her anger.’
    • ‘Despite his obstinate attitude, he beckoned for Eva and Sofia to accompany him.’
    • ‘For the grey-haired, being young is often equated with being hot-headed, turbulent, self-willed, obstinate, and too hot to handle.’
    • ‘You can have really strong, obstinate opinions, so long as your facts are true, you're OK.’
    • ‘Then the temperamental keyboards decided to be obstinate, gave one little gasp and retired leaving their conductor Victor Philip with nothing to guide them with but enthusiasm.’
    • ‘Then, when I stand up for myself (maybe not always in the best of situations), or when I act stubborn and obstinate, I fight with people.’
    • ‘This person is the most opinionated, wrong, obstinate person I've seen in this courtroom.’
    • ‘Why be obstinate and persist in planting rice if eventually we don't make any money?’
    • ‘Thanks to the Prime Minister, s remarks, many people think that both farmers and the county council are being obstinate in refusing to reopen footpaths and bridle ways.’
    • ‘While once children were called stupid, lazy, naughty or obstinate, now we have many syndromes and disorders - all still imperfectly understood - that medicalise their behaviour.’
    • ‘He was self-willed, obstinate, aggressive, vindictive, beset by feelings of inferiority, and yet firmly convinced of his own abilities.’
    • ‘She was opinionated and obstinate, and Charles soon found he had nothing to worry about.’
    • ‘I dealt with her as I dealt with my own mother, who could also be obstinate and single-minded, I did my best to avoid telling Kay things I knew she did not want to hear.’
    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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    1. 1.1 (of an unwelcome situation) very difficult to change or overcome.
      ‘the obstinate problem of unemployment’
      • ‘The other America, whether montagnard or prairie, is solidly continental and landlocked, its tap roots of obstinate self-belief buried deep beneath the bluegrass and the high corn.’
      • ‘Those inept, self-important idiots ran that place into the ground, creating unnecessary crises through decades of obstinate mismanagement.’
      • ‘Indeed, ‘Anglo-Saxon’ continuity in dismissive irritation is as tenacious as French continuity in obstinate and distinctive ambition.’
      • ‘The movie is a study in intolerance, though less the big, genocidal brand than the petty, obstinate kind that occurs in situations where a man sets himself apart from his community.’
      • ‘This would go a long way to reduce some of our citizens' obstinate dependence on the weekly collection of waste.’
      • ‘She continued to rip off the obstinate gnashing steel contraption to no avail.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, I simply dozed off, and dreamt of being chased by a group of spear-throwing Alpine warriors, presumably because of a particularly obstinate piece of grass that was sticking into my left thigh.’
      • ‘As anticipated, the resumed negotiations failed to bring about a substantial breakthrough because both Pyongyang and Washington did not budge from their obstinate positions.’
      • ‘The feature provides the workaround for its obstinate blocking of incoming packets, in some cases.’


Middle English: from Latin obstinatus, past participle of obstinare ‘persist’.