- An increasingly impatient child who is become more tense and unruly is an example of someone who would be described as restive.
- A horse that won't move forward no matter how much you pull on the reins is an example of a horse that would be described as restive.
The definition of restive is someone who feels nervous when criticized or controlled, or a person or animal that stubbornly refuses to move forward.
- refusing to go forward; balky, as a horse
- hard to control; unruly; refractory
- nervous or impatient under pressure or restraint; restless; unsettled
Origin of restiveMiddle English restyfe ; from Old French restif ; from rester: see rest
- a. Uneasily impatient or hard to control under restriction, opposition, criticism, or delay: Passengers on board the delayed airliner began to grow restive.b. Characterized by impatience or an absence of calm; unsettled: had a restive feeling that something wasn't quite right.
- Refusing to move. Used of a horse or other animal.
Origin of restiveMiddle English restif, stationary, from Old French, from rester, to remain, from Latin restare, to keep back : re-, re- + stare, to stand; see sta- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more restive, superlative most restive)