One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘he is defiant in the face of critics’
intransigent, resistant, obstinate, uncooperative, non-compliant, recalcitrant, confrontational, challenging
aggressive, belligerent, pugnacious, bellicose, combative, ready for a fight, antagonistic, hostile
obstreperous, truculent, dissenting, argumentative, quarrelsome, contentious, disobedient, insubordinate, subversive, rebellious, mutinous
informal feisty, spoiling for a fight
British informal stroppy, bolshie
North American informal scrappy
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