insubordinate

insubordinate, rebellious, mutinous, seditious, factious, contumacious mean having or showing defiance or indifference to constituted authority.
Insubordinate is used primarily in reference to a person whose status is that of a subordinate and especially of a member of an organized group (as a force, a crew, or a staff) under the control of a head (as a military or naval officer, a chief, or a master) who is responsible for their service as individuals and their discipline as a group; the term implies disobedience to orders or infraction of rules either as a particular instance or as a habit
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insubordinate sailors are confined in the warship's brig

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insubordination . . . may consist simply in a persistent and concerted refusal or omission to obey orders, or to do duty, with an insubordinate intent—Manual for Courts-Martial

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Rebellious implies disaffection and insubordination; it may refer to a state of mind or to a temperamental tendency
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temperamentally rebellious, instinctively disliking externally imposed authority— Biddle

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but more often it suggests active or organized resistance
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rebellious troops

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an outlaw'd desperate man, the chief of a rebellious clan— Scott

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the sword his grandsire bore in the rebellious days of yore— Longfellow

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Mutinous is a stronger and more derogatory term than rebellious which may imply justifiable resistance, for it suggests the refusal to obey the lawful demands or commands of an officer in charge, especially a military, naval, or ship's officer, with the result that there is no longer discipline and efficiency in the group or, if the mutiny is successful, that a new and usually unlawful control is set up
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the master ordered the mutinous sailors put into irons

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the mutinous members of the crew finally gained the upper hand

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each one . . . gave him to understand, roughly and roundly, that to go to sea in her they would not. In the midst of this mutinous uproar, the alarmed consul stood fast— Melville

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Mutinous is also frequently applied to active forces (as passions, winds, or waters) that are exceedingly turbulent or uncontrollable
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I have . . . called forth the mutinous winds— Shak.

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mutinous passions, and conflicting fears— Shelley

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Seditious implies treasonable activities and often specifically a stirring up of discontent or of opposition to or rebellion against the gov-ernment
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seditious societies

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seditious writings

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seditious factionalism went on a rampage and began to wreck our foreign policy— Ascoli

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Revolutions that were not made in Boston, by Boston gentlemen, were quite certain to be wicked and seditiousParrington

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Factious stresses the contentious, perverse, or turbulent provocation of party spirit or a tendency to break up into embittered and irreconcilable factions. Only when it implies as a result the destruction of peace in the group as a whole does it suggest indifference to or defiance of constituted authority; very frequently it suggests the opposition of legislative groups or blocs to the government
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a quarrelsome, factious race

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the government's plan to entertain the proposals for peace aroused the factious spirit of the parliament

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Florence . . . sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind, wearing her soul out by factious struggles— Oliphant

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the Opposition will be vigilant but not factious. We shall not oppose merely for the sake of opposition— Attlee

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Contumacious is found chiefly in legal and ecclesiastical use. It implies persistent, willful, or open disobedience of the orders of a court or of one's superiors; often, it specifically suggests contempt of court by a bold refusal to obey a summons or subpoena, or open and stubborn defiance of laws or orders that are seldom disobeyed
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on her refusal to appear in person or by her attorney, she was pronounced contumaciousLingard

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magistrates and populace were incensed at a refusal of customary marks of courtesy and respect for the laws, which in their eyes was purely contumaciousInge

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Analogous words: recalcitrant, refractory, *unruly, ungovernable, intractable
Contrasted words: *obedient, amenable, docile, tractable, biddable: submissive, subdued, *tame

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • insubordinate — [in΄sə bôrd′ n it] adj. [ IN 2 + SUBORDINATE] not submitting to authority; disobedient n. an insubordinate person insubordinately adv. insubordination n …   English World dictionary

  • Insubordinate — In sub*or di*nate, a. Not submitting to authority; disobedient; rebellious; mutinous. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • insubordinate — I adjective contumacious, defiant, disloyal, disobedient, dissident, fractious, froward, indocile, insubmissive, insurgent, insurrectionary, intractable, lawless, mutinous, noncompliant, rebellious, recalcitrant, recusant, refractory, resistive,… …   Law dictionary

  • insubordinate — (adj.) 1849, on model of Fr. insubordonné (1789); from IN (Cf. in ) (1) not, opposite of + SUBORDINATE (Cf. subordinate). Related: Insubordinately …   Etymology dictionary

  • insubordinate — [adj] rebellious contrary, contumacious, defiant, disaffected, disobedient, disorderly, dissentious, factious, fractious, insurgent, intractable, mutinous, naughty, perverse, recalcitrant, refractory, riotous, seditious, treacherous, turbulent,… …   New thesaurus

  • insubordinate — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ disobedient. DERIVATIVES insubordination noun …   English terms dictionary

  • insubordinate — insubordination in‧su‧bor‧di‧na‧tion [ˌɪnsəbɔːdˈneɪʆn ǁ ɔːr ] noun [uncountable] when you refuse to obey someone of a higher rank: • He was fired for insubordination. insubordinate adjective : • an insubordinate new recruit * * * insubordinate… …   Financial and business terms

  • insubordinate — insubordinately, adv. insubordination, n. /in seuh bawr dn it/, adj. 1. not submitting to authority; disobedient: an insubordinate soldier. 2. not lower. n. 3. a person who is insubordinate. [1840 50; IN 3 + SUBORDINATE] Syn. 1. refractory,… …   Universalium

  • insubordinate — adj. insubordinate to * * * [ˌɪnsə bɔːd(ə)nɪt] insubordinate to …   Combinatory dictionary

  • insubordinate — [[t]ɪ̱nsəbɔ͟ː(r)dɪnət[/t]] ADJ GRADED If you say that someone is insubordinate, you mean that they do not obey someone of higher rank. [FORMAL] In industry, a worker who is grossly insubordinate is threatened with discharge …   English dictionary

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