- 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 togetherMore example sentences
restless, fidgety, edgy, on edge, tense, uneasy, ill at ease, worked up, nervous, agitated, anxious, on tenterhooks, keyed up, apprehensive, unquiet, impatient; British nervyunruly, disorderly, out of control, uncontrollable, unmanageable, ungovernable, unbiddable, disobedient, defiant, up in arms, wilful, recalcitrant, refractory, insubordinate, disaffected, dissentious, riotous; rebellious, mutinous, seditious, insurgent, insurrectionary, insurrectionist, revolutionaryBritish • informal bolshie• archaic contumacious
- 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 onceMore 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.
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- 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.
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- 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.
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'.