from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Obstinately disobedient or rebellious; insubordinate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Contemptuous of authority; willfully disobedient; rebellious.
  • adj. Willfully disobedient to the summons or orders of a court.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Exhibiting contumacy; contemning authority; obstinate; perverse; stubborn; disobedient.
  • adj. Willfully disobedient to the summons or orders of a court.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Headstrong; insolent; hence, resisting legitimate authority, whether civil, ecclesiastical, military, or parental; stubbornly disobedient or rebellious: as, a contumacious child.
  • Specifically In law, wilfully disobedient to a lawful order of a judicial or legislative body, or showing wilful contempt of its authority.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. wilfully obstinate; stubbornly disobedient


From Latin contumāx ("stubborn, obstinate") (Wiktionary)



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  • "His Honour was, of course, firmly of the view that the appellant's mental state was such that she was capable of participating in the trial had she chosen to do so," he (Durward) said.
    "On this view, what is said to be the product of an unsoundness of mind can be seen to be the conduct of a contumacious litigant in defiance of the authority of the court.
    - David Barbeler, Bum-flashing lecturer's appeal dismissed,, 13 Oct 2009.

    October 13, 2009