• (British) IPA: /ˈɒb.stɪ.nət/, /ˈɒb.stɪ.nɪt/
  • (America) enPR: äb'stənət, IPA: /ˈɑb.stə.nət/, /ˈɑb.stə.nɪt/


  1. Stubbornly adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course, usually with implied unreasonableness; persistent.
    • 1686, Montaigne, translated by Charles Cotton, "That men are justly punished for being obstinate in the defence of a fort that is not in reason to be defended",
      From this consideration it is that we have derived the custom, in times of war, to punish […] those who are obstinate to defend a place that by the rules of war is not tenable […]
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 21:
      […] the junior Osborne was quite as obstinate as the senior: when he wanted a thing, quite as firm in his resolution to get it; and quite as violent when angered, as his father in his most stern moments
  2. Said of inanimate things not easily subdued or removed.
    • 1925-29, Mahadev Desai (translator), Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Part IV, Chapter XXIX,
      Now it happened that Kasturbai […] had again begun getting haemorrhage, and the malady seemed to be obstinate.
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