Definition of recalcitrant in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəˈkalsətrənt/


Having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority or discipline: a class of recalcitrant fifteen-year-olds
More example sentences
  • The Commissioner's powers to approve, audit and discipline recalcitrant players are uncertain in the Bill.
  • At the same time, he did not mind appealing to the council to discipline recalcitrant citizens who played tennis in the town square while he was preaching on Sunday.
  • Residents' associations should be authorised to fine recalcitrant drivers who do not turn up at fixed timings.
uncooperative, intractable, obstreperous, truculent, insubordinate, defiant, rebellious, willful, wayward, headstrong, self-willed, contrary, perverse, difficult
formal refractory
archaic froward, contumacious


A person with an obstinately uncooperative attitude.
Example sentences
  • By using ‘enhanced co-operation’, the regime can be standardised in most of the EU, bypassing recalcitrants such as the Irish Republic, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia and Britain.
  • ‘If there are recalcitrants,’ he suggests, ‘you kick them out of the index.’
  • He rushes to say that he knows that there is money out there waiting to be collected at several homes because he has spoken with those persons but there are still some obdurate recalcitrants withholding the annual E65.



Pronunciation: /rəˈkalsətrəns/
Example sentences
  • The moodiness, mischieviousness and mulish recalcitrance we see in all our favorite appliances comprise much of what it means to be a human born after AD 1400.
  • Indeed, one of the prices of a victory won in the face of French and German recalcitrance has been a slide in UK support for the single currency.
  • For some reason, this lawless recalcitrance was rewarded by the provincial government in 1993, when the residents were given 99-year leases on their property for about a dollar a day.


Example sentences
  • There is no head crash resulted from a deposition of vapor recalcitrantly released from silicone.
  • Lymphomas are a group of cancers in which cells of the lymphatic system become abnormal and start to grow recalcitrantly.


Mid 19th century: from Latin recalcitrant- 'kicking out with the heels', from the verb recalcitrare, based on calx, calc- 'heel'.

  • This word is from Latin recalcitrare ‘kick out with the heels’, based on calx ‘heel’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·cal·ci·trant

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