Definition of stubborn in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈstʌbən/


1Having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good reasons to do so: you’re a silly, stubborn old woman
More example sentences
  • I'm too stubborn to admit that I'm in love with him.
  • The two were just too stubborn to admit that they were wrong and the other was right.
  • Jim can be just as stubborn at times.
1.1Difficult to move, remove, or cure: the removal of stubborn screws
More example sentences
  • Trouble is it's so hot it's difficult to remove those stubborn stains.
  • Cheap booze, an eclectic clientele and a stubborn refusal to move with the times have drawn generations of tipplers.
  • Do not be tempted to scrub the gloss finish of the rod itself with the scourer to remove those stubborn mackerel scales.
indelible, permanent, lingering, persistent, tenacious, fast, resistant


(as) stubborn as a mule

informal Extremely stubborn.
Example sentences
  • I ride him at home and he is quite a character, as stubborn as a mule.
  • You know that I'm as stubborn as a mule and if I wanted to be, I could be mad at you forever, but I can't be.
  • You're great-great-grandmother was like this, stubborn as a mule.


Middle English (originally in the sense 'untameable, implacable'): of unknown origin.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: stub|born

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