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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English obstinate, obstinat, from Latin obstinātus, past participle of obstinō (set one's mind firmly upon, resolve), from ob (before) + *stinare, from stare (to stand). Doublet of ostinato.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɒb.stɪ.nət/, /ˈɒb.stɪ.nɪt/
  • (US) enPR: äb'stənət, IPA(key): /ˈɑb.stə.nət/, /ˈɑb.stə.nɪt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation (US): ob‧sti‧nate


obstinate (comparative more obstinate, superlative most obstinate)

  1. Stubbornly adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course, usually with implied unreasonableness; persistent.
    • 1686, Montaigne, translated by Charles Cotton, "That men are justly punished for being obstinate in the defence of a fort that is not in reason to be defended",
      From this consideration it is that we have derived the custom, in times of war, to punish [] those who are obstinate to defend a place that by the rules of war is not tenable []
    • 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 21, in Vanity Fair. A Novel without a Hero, London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1848, OCLC 3174108:
      [] the junior Osborne was quite as obstinate as the senior: when he wanted a thing, quite as firm in his resolution to get it; and quite as violent when angered, as his father in his most stern moments
  2. (of inanimate things) Not easily subdued or removed.
  3. (of a facial feature) Typical of an obstinate person; fixed and unmoving.
    • 1926, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Land of Mist[1]:
      He had the same pile of curly hair, but he was clean-shaven with a heavy, obstinate jowl.


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Further reading[edit]





  1. vocative masculine singular of obstinātus


  • obstinate”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • obstinate”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • obstinate in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette