Definition of obstreperous in English:



  • Noisy and difficult to control.

    ‘the boy is cocky and obstreperous’
    • ‘Some of them can be very demanding and ungrateful, even obstreperous and fractious.’
    • ‘Already he could hear the growing clamor of his three obstreperous children.’
    • ‘‘He didn't exactly embrace the editing process,’ my editor said, hinting, albeit understatedly, at the reporter's obstreperous personality.’
    • ‘He sticks to his mission, getting the obstreperous children into school and helping them become learners.’
    • ‘It is all the more unhappy because we see what gentleness, what tact and professionalism he has to bring to the job of minicab driving: dealing with all sorts of obstreperous and difficult customers.’
    • ‘Also at the home is an obstreperous new resident named Patrick, an ex-alcoholic who develops a close relationship with Clara, believing her to be a lost love from the Second World War.’
    • ‘The obstreperous emails in question focus on Norway's economic relationship with the European Union.’
    • ‘If NASA can pull it off - and at the same time deal once and for with obstreperous French air traffic controllers and striking baggage handlers - the result could be a civil aviation revolution.’
    • ‘The guard was armed with a long spear and a knife, the goat with only his tiny sharp teeth and his severely obstreperous attitude.’
    • ‘Your confirmation may therefore be vetoed by an obstreperous minority that needs no other reason besides, of course, the fact that you are ‘extreme.’’
    • ‘Particularly obstreperous prisoners were hosed down with cold water from the bay, a practice that earned the warden the nickname ‘Saltwater’ Johnston.’
    • ‘Most male penguins are known for being obstreperous, territorial squawkers.’
    • ‘They are now more likely to call a product obstreperous than blame themselves for their ineptitude.’
    • ‘The crowd seated in the bleachers - it was a full house - was incessantly loud and obstreperous.’
    • ‘And they'll indicate whether a patient was noisy and needed medication or if they were obstreperous and perhaps needed to be placed in a straight jacket or tied to the bed.’
    • ‘In my experience, Lefschetz was both obstreperous and enthusiastic - about research in mathematics.’
    • ‘His clothes are shabby, his shoes worn, but he is always ready to intervene if some of the young men become a bit obstreperous.’
    • ‘Anyway, I'm feeling obstreperous, so what exactly should the US do in the conduct of future war?’
    • ‘At 178 pounds was the one and only Cassius Clay, who was cantankerous, garrulous and obstreperous.’
    • ‘Most of the young people he'd come into contact with thought any music which wasn't loud and obstreperous was a waste of ears.’
    disorderly, rowdy, wild, unmanageable, uncontrollable, disobedient, disruptive, attention-seeking, undisciplined, troublemaking, rebellious, mutinous, anarchic, chaotic, lawless, insubordinate, defiant, wayward, wilful, headstrong, irrepressible, unrestrained, difficult, intractable, out of hand, refractory, recalcitrant
    unruly, unmanageable, disorderly, undisciplined, uncontrollable, unrestrained, rowdy, uncontrolled, disruptive, truculent, difficult, refractory, rebellious, mutinous, out of hand, riotous, out of control, wild, turbulent, uproarious, tumultuous, tempestuous, unbridled, irrepressible, boisterous, roisterous, rackety
    View synonyms


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘clamorous, vociferous’): from Latin obstreperus (from obstrepere, from ob- ‘against’ + strepere ‘make a noise’) + -ous.