Adjective "recalcitrant" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Having an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards authority or discipline.
  1. 'The code of ethics falls short of the expectations of many because there are no clear-cut penalties stated for recalcitrant legislators.'
  2. 'When the House Republican leadership on occasion has given him a list of recalcitrant members to rope in on a specific bill, he never has delivered.'
  3. '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.'
  4. 'Not only was he not powerful enough to take on the French army in a heavily-defended city, but he had only just succeeded in stamping his authority on his own recalcitrant barons.'
  5. 'Accustomed to yelling at recalcitrant dogs and pushy hunt followers, Ferry exudes authority and self-possession.'
  6. 'He was often handed the difficult and recalcitrant patients by his bosses and he hadn't failed one yet.'
  7. 'The Commissioner's powers to approve, audit and discipline recalcitrant players are uncertain in the Bill.'
  8. 'Southern states were somewhat recalcitrant, and some even maintained a separate holiday to honor Confederate war dead.'
  9. 'Rarely do recalcitrant companies get punished.'
  10. 'She has attached herself to it by a long-handled pruner and is trying to summon up enough leverage to cut the recalcitrant branch, while chatting non-stop.'


A person with a recalcitrant attitude.
  1. 'Wilkinson would loudly rebuke reporters whose copy seemed insufficiently supportive of the war - and recalcitrants were warned that they were on a list.'
  2. 'Military police know from the time they begin their advanced training that their duties will not be confined to placing handcuffs on recalcitrants ' wrists or filling out incident reports.'
  3. '‘If there are recalcitrants,’ he suggests, ‘you kick them out of the index.’'
  4. 'There are some who say it is their ‘job’ to be a political recalcitrant and cause disruption.'
  5. 'Bringing independent, expert judgement to bear will increase the pressure on the recalcitrants and make it harder for the government to credibly hold its line.'
  6. 'But still more encouragement is being given to win over recalcitrants.'
  7. 'For the recalcitrant, reformers might propose a variety of modest steps.'
  8. '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.'


1. resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant; refractory.

2. hard to deal with, manage, or operate. noun

3. a recalcitrant person.

More examples(as adjective)

"leaders can be recalcitrant."

"children can be recalcitrant."

"parliaments can be recalcitrant."

"authorities can be recalcitrant."

"members can be recalcitrant."

More examples++


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