Definition of restive in English:


Line breaks: rest|ive
Pronunciation: /ˈrɛstɪv


1(Of a person) unable to remain still, silent, or submissive, especially because of boredom or dissatisfaction: the crowd had been waiting for hours and many were becoming restive he reiterated his determination to hold the restive republics together
More example sentences
  • No, the workers were not restive, nor were pickets lining up outside.
  • Such resentful people easily become restive; should a promising opportunity to throw off the oppressor's dominion present itself, they may seize it.
  • Discontented with the lack of political rights, government corruption, and economic hardship, the country became increasingly restive during the 1980s, erupting into violent ethnic confrontations in 1992.
1.1(Of a horse) stubbornly standing still or moving backwards or sideways; refusing to advance: both their horses became restive at once
More example sentences
  • A smaller and lighter horse, but restive and fiery, was brought to Legolas.
  • It was a false scent, but ahead of him the horses grew restive, jostling and nipping, and the grey fretted against his hand.
  • The horses were now more restive than ever, and Johann was trying to hold them in, while excitedly imploring me not to do anything so foolish.


late 16th century: from Old French restif, -ive, from Latin restare 'remain'. The original sense, 'inclined to remain still', has undergone a reversal; the association with the refractory movements of a horse gave rise to the current sense 'restless'.



More example sentences
  • The minute hand on the clock above the Walls Unit entrance swept around past the 3, the 6, the 9, creeping toward 9 o'clock as the crowd looked on restively.
  • The finale (Ucelli sulle passioni), which, like the second movement, proceeds without pause, begins restively and roils like a volcano on the verge of eruption.
  • Johen's reply broke Jande's concentration on Dilys and her daughter, and she could hear their horses giving truth to Johen's words as they stamped restively on the track.


More example sentences
  • Whenever stressed employees worked up the courage to venture criticism of him, Browne would point towards the sign, which was usually enough to quell any restiveness.
  • I feel that the restiveness will not calm down with my continued presence,’ Corpus said.
  • ‘There has been some understandable restiveness, but I have resolved this matter directly with the troops,’ she said.

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Pronunciation: dɪˈmɒrəlʌɪz
cause (someone) to lose confidence or hope