V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: stubborn and defiant of authority

Synonyms: disobedient, defiant, obstinate, rebellious, stubborn, uncontrollable, unruly

Antonyms: obedient, compliant, submissive

Tips: The original, French meaning of recalcitrant is "to kick back." Recalcitrant describes people who fight back against authority. Think of a child being dragged, kicking and screaming, to school. This is a perfect image of a recalcitrant child. Also, think of a horse that does not want to be ridden and will kick anyone who comes near it. This is a recalcitrant horse.

Usage Examples:

The recalcitrant teenager no longer obeyed her curfew. (rebellious, defiant)

The police was called in when recalcitrant demonstrators would not leave the property. (defiant, unruly)

The boy became recalcitrant after he was grounded for the weekend. (defiant, obstinate)

The man had been recalcitrant from an early age and was continually in and out of jail for various petty crimes and misdemeanors. (rebellious, uncontrollable)

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