Meaning of recalcitrant in English:


Pronunciation /rɪˈkalsɪtr(ə)nt/

See synonyms for recalcitrant

Translate recalcitrant into Spanish


  • Having an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards authority or discipline.

    ‘a class of recalcitrant fifteen-year-olds’
    • ‘The Commissioner's powers to approve, audit and discipline recalcitrant players are uncertain in the Bill.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Residents' associations should be authorised to fine recalcitrant drivers who do not turn up at fixed timings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Accustomed to yelling at recalcitrant dogs and pushy hunt followers, Ferry exudes authority and self-possession.’
    • ‘To bring in the law as a big stick with which to beat parents of recalcitrant kids implies that there can be no discipline: only punishment.’
    • ‘Faced with difficulties from recalcitrant landowners and political opponents, the scheme eventually necessitated financial rescue by the king himself.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was often handed the difficult and recalcitrant patients by his bosses and he hadn't failed one yet.’
    • ‘She has compared recalcitrant education officials to children who need to be disciplined.’
    • ‘It may be possible to chip away at recalcitrant citizens by portraying the obstinate allies as mischievous or worse.’
    • ‘It seems puzzling why the president is so determined to battle recalcitrant Senate Republicans over the size and makeup of the tax-cut legislation.’
    • ‘The force has not disclosed exactly how weapons would be confiscated from any recalcitrant gunmen, insisting only that they would be vigorous in enforcing the rule.’
    • ‘Rarely do recalcitrant companies get punished.’
    • ‘If this seems crazy, then crazier still is that a solution exists to reconcile this, yet those in a position to make it happen are, like recalcitrant pupils, not paying attention.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How else to explain the chronic neglect of a program that effectively fights some of our most pernicious and recalcitrant social problems?’
    • ‘Southern states were somewhat recalcitrant, and some even maintained a separate holiday to honor Confederate war dead.’
    • ‘The code of ethics falls short of the expectations of many because there are no clear-cut penalties stated for recalcitrant legislators.’
    intransigent, resistant, obstinate, uncooperative, non-compliant, recalcitrant, confrontational, challenging
    View synonyms


  • A person with an obstinately uncooperative attitude.

    ‘a stiff-necked recalcitrant and troublemaker’
    • ‘By using ‘enhanced co-operation’, the regime can be standardised in most of the EU, bypassing recalcitrants such as the Irish Republic, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia and Britain.’
    • ‘‘If there are recalcitrants,’ he suggests, ‘you kick them out of the index.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Those sort of recalcitrants he mentions have been frustrated by the current native vegetation laws since they were brought in six years ago, and some have simply ignored them.’
    • ‘Wilkinson would loudly rebuke reporters whose copy seemed insufficiently supportive of the war - and recalcitrants were warned that they were on a list.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One option for dealing with recalcitrants, suggests Jay, is for managers to take control of the departments of their least efficient subordinates.’
    • ‘But still more encouragement is being given to win over recalcitrants.’
    • ‘The powers do not have to be used, but they may be useful in reminding recalcitrants and those who would obstruct investigations that failure to cooperate is not acceptable.’
    • ‘They briefly emerge as the explanation for the Terror, a period of necessary vigilance to wipe out such recalcitrants.’
    • ‘Otherwise, recalcitrants were to be denied access to their own credits.’
    • ‘There is only so long the recalcitrant can stay.’
    • ‘For the recalcitrant, reformers might propose a variety of modest steps.’
    • ‘James' sojourn in Gooding lasted less than a year before he was returned to his family who were apparently instructed to keep paper, pens, and inks away from the recalcitrant.’
    • ‘There are some who say it is their ‘job’ to be a political recalcitrant and cause disruption.’


Late 18th century from French récalcitrant or its source Latin recalcitrant- ‘kicking out with the heels’, from the verb recalcitrare, based on calx, calc- ‘heel’.