Word of the Day

Monday, October 27, 2003


\kon-t(y)oo-MAY-shuhs; kon-tuh-\ , adjective;
Obstinate; stubbornly disobedient; persistently, willfully, or overtly defiant of authority.
They solemnly denounced as contumacious . . . anyone opposing Dr Williams' appointment.
-- Stephen Bates, "Solemn, arcane and ceremonial, church confirms its liberal new archbishop", The Guardian, December 3, 2002
Not far north of Pech-Merle, just short of a little village named Cras, lies a later relic of human society: traces of the Gaulish enclosed settlement known as the oppidum of Murcens, claimed by some to be the site of Uxellodunum, where in 52 B.C. Julius Caesar defeated the great chieftain Vercingetorix and, to discourage further opposition by the contumacious Gauls, chopped off the right hands of 6,000 warriors, thus eliminating Gaulish resistance to the Pax Romana.
-- Peter Davison, "Province of the Past", The Atlantic, January 2001
Before a contumacious teenager can be turned into a disciplined, tradition-minded cadet, he or she must be admitted to West Point
-- Bill Kauffman, "The West Point Story", American Enterprise, July 1999
Contumacious derives from Latin contumax, contumac-, "insolent."
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