Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day


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Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.



March 23rd, 2015

Episode 144 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 23, 2015 is: obstinate \AHB-stuh-nut\ adjective 1 : perversely adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion 2 : not easily overcome or removed Examples: As usual, Uncle Mitch remained obstinate in his opinion even though the facts were clearly stacked against him. "The obstinate 55-year-old tenant who refused to vacate her crumbling East Harlem apartment building so that it could be renovated was evicted last month." Jan Ransom, Daily News (New York), October 29, 2014 Did you know? If you're obstinate, you're just plain stubborn. Obstinate, dogged, stubborn, and mulish all mean that someone is unwilling to change course or give up a belief or plan. Obstinate suggests an unreasonable persistence; it's often a negative word. Dogged implies that someone goes after something without ever tiring or quitting; it can be more positive. Stubborn indicates a resistance to change, which may or may not be admirable. Someone who displays a really unreasonable degree of stubbornness could accurately be described as mulish.