Definition of restive in English:

restive

Syllabification: res·tive
Pronunciation: /ˈrestiv
 
/

adjective

1(Of a person) unable to keep still or silent and becoming increasingly difficult to control, especially because of impatience, dissatisfaction, or boredom.
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.
Synonyms
unruly, disorderly, uncontrollable, unmanageable, willful, recalcitrant, insubordinate
formal refractory
archaic contumacious
1.1(Of a horse) refusing to advance, stubbornly standing still or moving backward or sideways.
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.

Origin

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

Derivatives

restively

adverb
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.

restiveness

noun
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.

More definitions of restive

Definition of restive in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day semblance
Pronunciation: ˈsembləns
noun
the outward appearance or apparent form of something…