obstinate

obstinate, dogged, stubborn, pertinacious, mulish, stiff- necked, pigheaded, bullheaded are comparable when they mean fixed or unyielding by temperament or nature.
Obstinate implies persistent adherence, especially against persuasion or attack, to an opinion, purpose, or course; when applied to persons or to their ideas or behavior the term often suggests unreasonableness or perversity rather than steadfastness
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they will not be resolute and firm, but perverse and obstinateBurke

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so yielding doubtful points that he can be firm without seeming obstinate in essential ones— J. R. Lowell

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she was—is—a damned obstinate old girl, and the more he swore it was Elsie, the more she swore it was Deacon— Sayers

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unfortunately grammar is the subject that of all others arouses the most obstinate propensities in the human mind— Richards

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Dogged adds the implication of downright and tenacious, sometimes sullen, persistence; usually, also, it connotes great determination or an unwavering purpose
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dogged veracity

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dogged perseverance

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men whose hearts insist upon a dogged fidelity to some image or cause— Hardy

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his mother's influence was to make him quietly determined, patient, dogged, unwearied— D. H. Lawrence

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had a hard personality in those days . . . dogged, not altogether fair— Mailer

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Stubborn is often used interchangeably with obstinate and dogged, for it implies the unyielding adherence of the one and the tenacious determination of the other; more strongly than either of them, however, it carries an implication of a native fixedness of character or of a deeply rooted quality that makes a person sturdily resistant to attempts to change his purpose, course, or opinion, or that makes a thing highly intractable to those who would work it, treat it, or manipulate it
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there is something stubborn in him that makes him follow his own path even though he isn't certain where it goes— Malcolm Cowley

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Paddy and his old mare are teamed up . . . man and beast joined against stubborn nature— A. F. Wolfe

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it was all but impossible for the carpenter ever to admit himself in the wrong; but upon this occasion he swallowed his stubborn pride— Nordhoff & Hall

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poetry whose democracy is tempered by a stubborn conviction that democracy thwarts the development of the individual at its peril— Lowes

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Pertinacious lacks, as compared with obstinate, the implication of resistance, and as compared with stubborn, the suggestion of inherent quality; it usually implies a chosen course and stresses its pursuit with stick-to-itiveness and, often, with a persistence that is annoying or irksome
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a pertinacious beggar

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his originality lay not in any purely speculative views, but in the pertinacious curiosity, practical in its origin and aim, with which he attacked and sifted the ethical conceptions of his time— Dickinson

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arrive and look with becoming modesty at the photographers. These cynical and pertinacious gentlemen do not disappoint them— Munro

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Mulish suggests an obstinacy as characteristic or as unreasonable as that of a mule
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a mulish determination to make the worst of everything— T. S. Eliot

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a fierce, hot, hard, old, stupid squire . . . small brain, great courage, mulish will— Masefield

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Stiff-necked, more even than obstinate or stubborn, stresses inflexibility; it often also suggests a haughtiness or arrogance that makes one incapable of respecting the commands, wishes, or suggestions of others
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be ye not stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord— 2 Chron 30:8

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she would have felt stiff-necked and ridiculous if she had resisted, like a republican who refuses to stand up in a London theater when "God Save the King" is played— West

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he was formidably upright . . . too stiff-necked to kneel— Dorothy Thompson

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Pigheaded and bullheaded suggest a particularly perverse or stupid kind of obstinacy; therefore they are chiefly terms of severe reproach; pigheaded, however, often suggests impenetrability to argument and bullheaded, headstrong determination
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many of the managing posts will be filled up by pigheaded people only because they happen to have the habit of ordering poor people about— Shaw

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there was to be no relieving intermission. Using my prerogative as author, I had been bullheaded on this point— Paul Green

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she's so bullheaded. She always has to have her way— Ginder

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Analogous words: headstrong, willful, recalcitrant, *unruly: obdurate, inexorable, inflexible: resolute, steadfast, staunch (see FAITHFUL)
Antonyms: pliant, pliable
Contrasted words: *plastic, malleable, ductile: submitting or submissive, yielding, succumbing (see corresponding verbs at YIELD): *compliant, acquiescent

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Obstinate — Ob sti*nate, a. [L. obstinatus, p. p. of obstinare to set about a thing with firmness, to persist in; ob (see {Ob }) + a word from the root of stare to stand. See {Stand}, and cf. {Destine}.] 1. Pertinaciously adhering to an opinion, purpose, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • obstinate — ► ADJECTIVE 1) stubbornly refusing to change one s opinion or chosen course of action. 2) hard to deal with or overcome: an obstinate problem. DERIVATIVES obstinacy noun obstinately adverb. ORIGIN Latin obstinatus, from obstinare persist …   English terms dictionary

  • obstinate — [äb′stə nət] adj. [ME < L obstinatus, pp. of obstinare, to resolve on < obstare, to stand against, oppose < ob (see OB ) + stare, to STAND] 1. unreasonably determined to have one s own way; not yielding to reason or plea; stubborn;… …   English World dictionary

  • obstinate — index contentious, contumacious, difficult, disobedient, froward, immutable, impervious, implacable …   Law dictionary

  • obstinate — (adj.) mid 14c., from L. obstinatus resolute, inflexible, stubborn, pp. of obstinare persist, stand stubbornly, set one s mind on, from ob by (see OB (Cf. ob )) + stinare, related to stare stand, from PIE root *sta to stand (see STET …   Etymology dictionary

  • obstinate — [adj] stubborn, determined adamant, cantankerous, contradictory, contrary, contumacious, convinced, dead set on*, dogged, dogmatic, firm, hard, hardened, headstrong, heady, immovable, indomitable, inflexible, intractable, intransigent, locked in* …   New thesaurus

  • obstinate — adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo French obstinat, Latin obstinatus, past participle of obstinare to be resolved, from ob in the way + stinare (akin to stare to stand) Date: 14th century 1. perversely adhering to an opinion, purpose …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • obstinate — ob|sti|nate [ˈɔbstınıt US ˈa:b ] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Latin; Origin: , past participle of obstinare to be determined ] 1.) determined not to change your ideas, behaviour, opinions etc, even when other people think you are being unreasonable =… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • obstinate — [[t]ɒ̱bstɪnət[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you describe someone as obstinate, you are being critical of them because they are very determined to do what they want, and refuse to change their mind or be persuaded to do something else. He is …   English dictionary

  • obstinate — adjective 1 unreasonably refusing to change your ideas of behaviour, even though people try to persuade you: Harry was obstinate and wouldn t admit he was wrong. | a sulky, obstinate child | an obstinate refusal to face facts 2 (only before noun) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English


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