different between obstinacy vs obstinate




  • (General American) IPA(key): /??bst?n?si/
  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /??bst?n?si/


obstinate +? -cy

Alternative forms

  • (proscribed) obstinance, obstinancy


obstinacy (countable and uncountable, plural obstinacies)

  1. The state, or an act, of stubbornness or doggedness.
    He finished only through a mixture of determined obstinacy and ingenuity.
    • 1839, Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, ch. 44,
      "I don't know where," replied the girl.
      "Then I do," said Sikes, more in the spirit of obstinacy than because he had any real objection.
    • 1877, Leo Tolstoy (author), David Magarshack (translator), Anna Karenina, part 6, ch 12,
      His hand closed, he drew back, and his face assumed a still more stubborn expression.
      "For you it's a matter of obstinacy," she said, looking intently at him and suddenly finding the right word for the expression of his face which exasperated her so much.


  • conviction, insistence, recalcitrance, stubbornness, tenacity
  • See also Thesaurus:obstinacy


See also

  • determination, perseverance

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Alternative forms

  • obstinant (proscribed)


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


  • (UK) IPA(key): /??b.st?.n?t/, /??b.st?.n?t/
  • (US) enPR: äb'st?n?t, IPA(key): /??b.st?.n?t/, /??b.st?.n?t/
  • 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 []
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 21:
      [] 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.
    • 1925-29, Mahadev Desai (translator), M.K. Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Part IV, Chapter XXIX,
      Now it happened that Kasturbai [] had again begun getting haemorrhage, and the malady seemed to be obstinate.
  3. (of a facial feature) Typical of an obstinate person; fixed and unmoving.


  • (stubbornly adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course): bloody-minded, persistent, stubborn, pertinacious, see also Thesaurus:obstinate
  • (not easily subdued): persistent, unrelenting, inexorable

Derived terms

  • obstinacy
  • obstinately
  • obstinateness

Related terms


Further reading

  • obstinate in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • obstinate in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • obstinate at OneLook Dictionary Search


  • obestatin, obtainest




  1. vocative masculine singular of obstin?tus


  • 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

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