• Obstreperous

    Pronunciation

    • RP IPA: /əbˈstrɛp.ər.əs/, /ɒbˈstrɛp.ər.əs/
    • US IPA: /əbˈstrɛpərəs/, /ɑːbˈstrɛpərəs/

    Origin

    First attested circa 17th century, from Latin obstreperus "clamorous, noisy," from obstrepere, "to make a noise against, oppose noisily," from ob-, "against" + strepere, "to noise."

    Full definition of obstreperous

    Adjective

    obstreperous

    1. Attended by, or making, a loud and tumultuous noise; boisterous.
      • 1809, Washington Irving, Knickerbocker's History of New York, ch. 7:On a clear still summer evening you may hear from the battery of New York the obstreperous peals of broad-mouthed laughter of the Dutch negroes at Communipaw.
      • 1855, Robert Browning, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came":. . . my hopeDwindled into a ghost not fit to copeWith that obstreperous joy success would bring
      • 1918, Henry B. Fuller, On the Stairs, ch. 3:He developed an obstreperous baritone . . . and he made himself rather preponderant, whether he happened to know the song or not.
    2. Stubbornly defiant; disobedient; resistant to authority or control, whether in a noisy manner or not.
      • 1827, Walter Scott, The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, October 1827:We came to Whittingham. Thence to Newcastle, where an obstreperous horse retarded us for an hour at least.
      • 1903, Lucy Maud Montgomery, "A Sandshore Wooing" in Short Stories: 1902-1903:My dress was draggled, my hat had slipped back, and the kinks and curls of my obstreperous hair were something awful.
      • 1915, Stewart Edward White, The Gray Dawn, ch. 70:They reviled the committee collectively and singly; bragged that they would shoot Coleman, Truett, Durkee, and some others at sight; flourished weapons, and otherwise became so publicly and noisily obstreperous that the committee decided they needed a lesson.

    Synonyms

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