Definition of stubborn in US English:



  • 1Having or showing dogged determination not to change one's attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.

    ‘a stubborn refusal to learn from experience’
    ‘two stubborn young people intent on doing their own thing’
    • ‘I liked the stubborn resistance my dragon hunter had to face throughout the game.’
    • ‘The two were just too stubborn to admit that they were wrong and the other was right.’
    • ‘Jim can be just as stubborn at times.’
    • ‘Neither of us likes to give up; you might call us stubborn.’
    • ‘I am stubborn at times, and this is one of those times.’
    • ‘I want us to have children every bit as stubborn as we are!’
    • ‘China's stubborn adherence to the " one China " principle is obviously aimed at restraining Taiwan.’
    • ‘The group's stubborn refusal to rejoice in their achievement strikes me as strange.’
    • ‘How could they convince the stubborn, mule headed men to not duel?’
    • ‘And then there is that stubborn streak in him that always fired him up.’
    • ‘Lex, see what you miss with your stubborn refusal to own a T.V.?’
    • ‘I'm just as stubborn, if not more so, than you are.’
    • ‘I'm too stubborn to admit that I'm in love with him.’
    • ‘Call me stubborn but once I've started something then I'm going to finish it.’
    • ‘"You get that stubborn streak from your mother, you know, " he said, grinning.’
    • ‘Michael wished Manda hadn't been so stubborn not to let him pay the bills.’
    • ‘The most stubborn resistance was in east-central Paris.’
    • ‘But I won't try to stop you, I know how stubborn you are.’
    • ‘They are, alas, meeting with the same stubborn resistance as Cliff.’
    • ‘The rage bubbled up inside of me again at his stubborn insistence.’
    obstinate, stubborn as a mule, mulish, headstrong, wilful, strong-willed, self-willed, pig-headed, bull-headed, obdurate, awkward, difficult, contrary, perverse, recalcitrant, refractory
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    1. 1.1 Difficult to move, remove, or cure.
      ‘the removal of stubborn screws’
      • ‘Cheap booze, an eclectic clientele and a stubborn refusal to move with the times have drawn generations of tipplers.’
      • ‘The number 6 had been pretty easy to remove but the 3 proved to be more stubborn.’
      • ‘The next 5 pounds, however, were a little bit more stubborn.’
      • ‘Do not be tempted to scrub the gloss finish of the rod itself with the scourer to remove those stubborn mackerel scales.’
      • ‘All hopes of hot bath or a soothing gin lay beyond the stubborn green door with its pretty stained glass panels.’
      • ‘The roads were wet from the sprays of the municipal cleaners and all that was left was the more stubborn of the chalky white outlines.’
      • ‘Then the skeletons, stubborn bits of flesh and muscle still clinging to the bones, move on to the bug room.’
      • ‘I am watching him extract stubborn weeds, while I and my big pregnant belly look on from the grass.’
      • ‘Usually simple anti-inflammatories will settle it, but a stubborn one may need a minor op to remove it.’
      • ‘Trouble is it's so hot it's difficult to remove those stubborn stains.’
      • ‘I'm scrubbing a particularly stubborn stain when I hear a key in the lock and I freeze.’
      indelible, permanent, lingering, persistent, tenacious, fast, resistant
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Middle English (originally in the sense ‘untameable, implacable’): of unknown origin.