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willful

or wilful

[wil-fuh l] /ˈwɪl fəl/
adjective
1.
deliberate, voluntary, or intentional:
The coroner ruled the death willful murder.
2.
unreasonably stubborn or headstrong; self-willed.
Origin of willful
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English; Old English wilful willing. See will2, -ful
Related forms
willfully, adverb
willfulness, noun
half-willful, adjective
half-willfully, adverb
half-willfulness, noun
unwillful, adjective
unwillfully, adverb
unwillfulness, noun
Synonyms
1. volitional. 2. intransigent; contrary, refractory, pigheaded, inflexible, obdurate, adamant. Willful, headstrong, perverse, wayward refer to one who stubbornly insists upon doing as he or she pleases. Willful suggests a stubborn persistence in doing what one wishes, especially in opposition to those whose wishes or commands ought to be respected or obeyed: that willful child who disregarded his parents' advice. One who is headstrong is often foolishly, and sometimes violently, self-willed: reckless and headstrong youths. The perverse person is unreasonably or obstinately intractable or contrary, often with the express intention of being disagreeable: perverse out of sheer spite. Wayward in this sense has the connotation of rash wrongheadedness that gets one into trouble: a reform school for wayward girls.
Antonyms
2. obedient, tractable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for willful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In his slow-thoughted fashion he saw her the same wild, willful, obstinate little thing.

    A Little Girl in Old Detroit Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • Mrs. Kemp knew no other than her beautiful, willful niece's pleasure.

    Pretty Madcap Dorothy Laura Jean Libbey
  • But young girls are willful, and the upshot of the whole matter was—she eloped with him.

    Pretty Madcap Dorothy Laura Jean Libbey
  • He was a willful man, with a good deal of granite in his make-up.

    The Highgrader William MacLeod Raine
  • But no hint of the outdoor cold and discomfort penetrated to the luxurious parlor where we first met our pretty, willful Irene.

British Dictionary definitions for willful

willful

/ˈwɪlfʊl/
adjective
1.
the US spelling of wilful
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 willful
adj.

c.1200, "strong-willed," from will (n.) + -ful. Willfully is late Old English wilfullice "of one's own free will, voluntarily;" bad sense of "on purpose" is attested from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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