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[ob-doo-rit, -dyoo-] /ˈɒb dʊ rɪt, -dyʊ-/
unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding.
stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent:
an obdurate sinner.
Origin of obdurate
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English obdurat < Latin obdūrātus (past participle of obdūrāre to harden), equivalent to ob- ob- + dūr(us) hard + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
obdurately, adverb
obdurateness, noun
unobdurate, adjective
unobdurately, adverb
unobdurateness, noun
1. hard, obstinate, callous, unbending, inflexible. 2. unregenerate, reprobate, shameless.
1. soft, tractable. 2. humble, repentant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for obdurate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In cases of obdurate induration, the udder should be anointed with iodine ointment.

    Sheep, Swine, and Poultry Robert Jennings
  • The three young argonauts pleaded, but the old pioneer was obdurate.

  • However, the words were penetrating the hitherto ignorant or obdurate heart, and preparing it to attend to further instruction.

    Pioneers and Founders Charlotte Mary Yonge
  • He was as obdurate as Tennyson's sailor‑boy whom the mermaiden forewarned so fiercely!

    The Martian George Du Maurier
  • He was inclined to do anything desperate and foolish, if by so doing he could sting that cruel, obdurate heart.

    The Doctor's Wife M. E. Braddon
  • He spoke to Fletcher on the subject; but the leader of the expedition was obdurate.

    The Young Adventurer Horatio Alger
  • The fiery Giuliano della Rovere remained implacable and obdurate.

    Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7) John Addington Symonds
  • She would not cry: she felt proud, obdurate, scornful, outraged.

    The Guardian Angel Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
British Dictionary definitions for obdurate


not easily moved by feelings or supplication; hardhearted
impervious to persuasion, esp to moral persuasion
Derived Forms
obduracy, obdurateness, noun
obdurately, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin obdūrāre to make hard, from ob- (intensive) + dūrus hard; compare endure
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 obdurate

mid-15c., "stubborn; hardened," from Latin obduratus "hardened," past participle of obdurare "be hard, hold out, persist, endure," from ob "against" (see ob-) + durare "harden, render hard," from durus "hard" (see endure). Related: Obdurately.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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