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[stuhb-ern] /ˈstʌb ərn/
unreasonably obstinate; obstinately unmoving:
a stubborn child.
fixed or set in purpose or opinion; resolute:
a stubborn opponent of foreign aid.
obstinately maintained, as a course of action:
a stubborn resistance.
difficult to manage or suppress:
a stubborn horse; a stubborn pain.
hard, tough, or stiff, as stone or wood; difficult to shape or work.
Origin of stubborn
1350-1400; Middle English stiborn(e), styborne, stuborn < ?
Related forms
stubbornly, adverb
stubbornness, noun
prestubborn, adjective
unstubborn, adjective
unstubbornly, adverb
unstubbornness, noun
1. contrary, intractable, refractory, unyielding, headstrong, obdurate. 2. persevering. Stubborn, dogged, obstinate, persistent imply fixity of purpose or condition and resistance to change. Stubborn and obstinate both imply resistance to advice, entreaty, remonstrance, or force; but stubborn implies more of innate quality and is the more frequently used when referring to inanimate things: stubborn disposition; stubborn difficulties. Dogged implies pertinacity and grimness in doing something, especially in the face of discouragements: dogged determination. Persistent implies having staying or lasting qualities, resoluteness, and perseverance: persistent questioning.
1. tractable. 2. irresolute. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for stubbornly
  • Yet the process by which it all happened has remained stubbornly impenetrable.
  • In much of the deep tropics malaria persisted stubbornly.
  • Thank you, he said, and stubbornly insisted on giving me the chocolates.
  • My biggest problem with your post is its stubbornly monolithic understandings.
  • Four years after the onset, the foreclosure rate remains stubbornly high-and now there is a second foreclosure crisis.
  • Don't despair if the cake stubbornly refuses to come out of the pan.
  • We are stubbornly, doggedly, foot-draggingly unwilling to get with the program.
  • While demand for wireless data grows exponentially, the supply of available radio spectrum remains stubbornly fixed.
  • Taken together, all of this activity is shaking up an industry that has stubbornly resisted change.
  • Yet a closely related goal has remained stubbornly elusive.
British Dictionary definitions for stubbornly


refusing to comply, agree, or give in; obstinate
difficult to handle, treat, or overcome
persistent and dogged: a stubborn crusade
Derived Forms
stubbornly, adverb
stubbornness, noun
Word Origin
C14 stoborne, of obscure origin
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 stubbornly



late 14c., of uncertain origin. Earliest form is stiborn. OED, Liberman doubt any connection with stub (n.). Related: Stubbornly; stubbornness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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