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See also: rébarbative




From French rébarbatif, rébarbative (repellent”, “disagreeable), from Middle French rebarber (to oppose”, “to stand up to) (from Old French re- + barbe (barb”, “beard) (from Latin barba (beard), literally “to stand beard to beard against”) + -atif (-ative).



rebarbative (comparative more rebarbative, superlative most rebarbative)

  1. Irritating, repellent.
    • 1991, Anthony Grafton, Defenders of the Text: The Traditions of Scholarship in an Age of Science, 1450—1800, 1994 paperback edition, page 42,
      Poliziano took great pleasure in incorporating the new myths, facts, and variant readings he uncovered as a scholar in his own Latin poems and letters — and in pointing out that he had done so in his most rebarbative technical monographs.
    • 2009 August 31, Nicholas Lezard, Down and out in London (column), New Statesman, page 54,
      I know there are few things more rebarbative than parents who insist, usually against all the evidence, that their children are the bees’ knees, but something seems to have turned out fine.
    • 2011, David Marquand, The End of the West: The Once and Future Europe, page 31,
      They wished to transcend it—an astounding political innovation whose inner meaning has been so swathed in rebarbative academic jargon and even more rebarbative officialese that only a tiny minority of the Union′s citizens understand how it works.
    • 2014 April 5, Alex Preston, Flash Boys: Cracking the Money Code by Michael Lewis, review: Michael Lewis tells the compelling true story of one man’s mission to tame Wall Street [print version: Capital ventures][1], London, archived from the original on 8 April 2014, page R26:
      Central to the story was Steve Eisman, an eccentric and rebarbative hedge-funder who was one of the earliest to see through the subprime lies.

Derived termsEdit



  • rebarbative, adj.” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary (draft revision, June 2009)
  • reˈbarbative, a.” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)