Restive Definition

Hard to control; unruly; refractory.
Webster's New World
Refusing to go forward; balky, as a horse.
Webster's New World
Nervous or impatient under pressure or restraint; restless; unsettled.
Webster's New World
The definition of restive is someone who feels nervous when criticized or controlled, or a person or animal that stubbornly refuses to move forward.
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.

Origin of Restive

  • Middle English restif stationary from Old French from rester to remain from Latin restāre to keep back re- re- stāre to stand stā- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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