Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Obdurate


The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is obdurate. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Obdurate is a formal word that means “resistant to persuasion.” It is usually used to describe someone who is stubborn or not willing to change their opinion or the way they do something.

// We all admire his obdurate refusal to give up on his goal despite the many challenges he faced.

OBDURATE in Context

“The reincarnation of the hulking pickup truck … has been lauded by manufacturer General Motors (GM) as proof that electric vehicles (EVs) can now reach even middle America’s most obdurate devotees of supersized car culture.” — Oliver Milman, The Guardian (UK), 7 Apr. 2022

Did You Know?

When trying to persuade someone who has an obdurate disposition, you may end up feeling rather dour about your ability to change their mind. To endure such encounters in the future, you may find that you need to be more durable and not let their mulishness get you down. Maybe you will find such situations less stressful if you can face them knowing that the words obduratedourendure, and durable are etymological kissing cousins. All trace back to the Latin adjective durus, which means “hard.”

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