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.

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