Mid-15th century, from Latin obduratus (hardened), form of obdūrō (harden), from ob- (against) + dūrō (harden, render hard), from durus (hard).[1] Compare durable, endure.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɒbdʒʊɹɪt/, /ˈɒbdjʊɹɪt/, /ˈɒbdʒəɹɪt/, /-ət/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɑbd(j)ʊɹɪt/, /ˈɑbd(j)əɹɪt/, /-ət/
  • (file)
  • Sometimes accented on the second syllable, especially by the older poets.


obdurate (comparative more obdurate, superlative most obdurate)

  1. Stubbornly persistent, generally in wrongdoing; refusing to reform or repent.
    • 1593, Richard Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Book I:
      ... sometimes the very custom of evil making the heart obdurate against whatsoever instructions to the contrary ...
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 3, Act I, sc. 4:
      Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel,
      Nay, more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth?
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I, lines 56–8
      ... round he throws his baleful eyes
      That witness'd huge affliction and dismay
      Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:
    • 1818, Percy Bysshe Shelley,"The Revolt of Islam", canto 4, stanza 9, lines 1486-7:
      But custom maketh blind and obdurate
      The loftiest hearts.
    • 2011 February 12, Les Roopanarine, “Birmingham 1 - 0 Stoke”, in BBC[1]:
      An injury-time goal from Nikola Zigic against an obdurate Stoke side gave Birmingham back-to back Premier League wins for the first time in 14 months.
    • 2017 September 7, Ferdinand Mount, “Umbrageousness”, in London Review of Books[2]:
      What Tharoor dismisses as mere ‘positive by-products’ Lalvani sees as central to the India the British left behind: the botanic gardens, the forest conservancies, the Archaeological Survey of India (brainchild of the otherwise obdurate Curzon) and the free press.
  2. (obsolete) Physically hardened, toughened.
  3. Hardened against feeling; hard-hearted.
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 13:
      I fear the gentleman to whom Miss Amelia's letters were addressed was rather an obdurate critic.


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


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obdurate (third-person singular simple present obdurates, present participle obdurating, simple past and past participle obdurated)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To harden; to obdure.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021), “obdurate”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.





  1. second-person plural present active imperative of obdūrō