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From Middle English stiborne, stibourne, stoburn, stoburne, styburne, stiborn. Origin uncertain.

One theory is that the origin may come from *stybor, *stibor, from Old English stybb (a stump, stub) + adj. formative -or as in Old English bitor, English bitter.



stubborn (comparative stubborner, superlative stubbornest)

  1. Refusing to move or to change one's opinion; obstinate; firmly resisting; persistent in doing something.
    He is pretty stubborn about his political beliefs, so why bother arguing?
    Blood can make a very stubborn stain on fabrics if not washed properly.
  2. Of materials: physically stiff and inflexible; not easily melted or worked.


Derived terms[edit]



stubborn (uncountable)

  1. (informal) Stubbornness.
    • 2003, Dana Stabenow, A Grave Denied, →ISBN, page 86:
      But I have to say that one thing you inherited from your mother is a whole lot of stubborn.
    • 2014, Victoria Hamilton, Muffin But Murder, →ISBN:
      That takes a lot of stubborn for a seventy-something man.
    • 2016, Ken Robert Baugh, Just Passing Time, →ISBN:
      Stubborn is not eating pizza out of a square pan because you know it won't taste as good as a round one. Stubborn is spending twelve thousand dollars to fix a five-hundred-dollar truck just because it's “your baby.”
  2. Short for stubborn disease (a disease of citrus trees).
    • 1967, Walter Reuther, The Citrus Industry, Volume IV, →ISBN, page 129:
      With evidence that the causal agent of stubborn is spread by insects, control or prevention of this disease will prove more difficult than formerly thought to be.
    • 2012, Vincenzo Vacante, Uri Gerson, Integrated Control of Citrus Pests in the Mediterranean Region, →ISBN:
      Sectorial infection of stubborn could be stable for long periods, but may be manifested once the trees are severely pruned, this causing the system spread of S. citri to other non-infected parts.

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