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[kon-too-mey-shuh s, -tyoo-] /ˌkɒn tʊˈmeɪ ʃəs, -tyʊ-/
stubbornly perverse or rebellious; willfully and obstinately disobedient.
Origin of contumacious
1590-1600; contumacy + -ous
Related forms
contumaciously, adverb
contumaciousness, contumacity
[kon-too-mas-i-tee, -tyoo-] /ˌkɒn tʊˈmæs ɪ ti, -tyʊ-/ (Show IPA),
noncontumacious, adjective
noncontumaciously, adverb
noncontumaciousness, noun
uncontumacious, adjective
uncontumaciously, adverb
uncontumaciousness, noun
contrary, pigheaded, factious, refractory, headstrong, intractable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for contumacious
  • Cases are not wanting in which contumacious offenders were actually committed to prison.
  • We review for clear error any factual findings underlying the contumacious behavior.
  • There must be a willful, contumacious, or reckless state of mind to warrant conviction for criminal contempt.
  • In addition, the wrongdoer can be separately indicted for his contumacious acts.
  • Moreover, there was no clear record of delay or contumacious conduct by complainant in the adjudication of his complaint.
  • There is no evidence that plaintiff's inaction was willful, contumacious, or the result of bad faith.
British Dictionary definitions for contumacious


stubbornly resistant to authority; wilfully obstinate
Derived Forms
contumaciously, adverb
contumaciousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for contumacious

c.1600, from Latin contumaci-, stem of contumax "haughty, insolent, obstinate" (see contumely) + -ous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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