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[wil-fuh l] /ˈwɪl fəl/
deliberate, voluntary, or intentional:
The coroner ruled the death willful murder.
unreasonably stubborn or headstrong; self-willed.
Also, wilful.
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
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.
2. obedient, tractable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for willfully
  • For that reason, you're not likely to find a museum that has good collections but willfully refuses to display them.
  • To ignore this fact is to be purely and willfully ignorant.
  • Clearly there is a different systemic effect happening here that they are not noticing or willfully ignoring.
  • Past concepts of community and families have been willfully disrupted by individual moves for economic gain.
  • If you are willfully ignorant then no amount of evidence is going to convince you.
  • It boggles the mind as to how so many people willfully wear their ignorance proudly.
  • The graphic was willfully misrepresenting its alleged sources.
  • Pretending otherwise requires willfully misleading the public.
  • In order to call something push, the publisher has to willfully send it to the user.
  • Nobody concerned willfully inflicted injuries on anybody else.
British Dictionary definitions for willfully


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 willfully



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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