- The definition of recalcitrant is having behavior that is difficult to deal with and being uncooperative with authority.
An example of recalcitrant is a student who constantly defies the teacher in class.
- refusing to obey authority, custom, regulation, etc.; stubbornly defiant
- hard to handle or deal with
Origin: L recalcitrans, present participle of recalcitrare, to kick back (in LL, to disobey) from re-, back plush calcitrare, to kick from calx, heel: see calcar
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Origin: Late Latin recalcitrāns, recalcitrant-, present participle of recalcitrāre, to be disobedient, from Latin, to deny access : re-, re- + calcitrāre, to kick (from calx, calc-, heel).
- re·calˈci·trance, re·calˈci·tran·cy noun