Definitions

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

  • adj. Holding tenaciously to a purpose, belief, opinion, or course of action.
  • adj. Stubbornly or perversely persistent. See Synonyms at obstinate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Holding tenaciously to an opinion or purpose.
  • adj. Stubbornly resolute or tenacious.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Holding or adhering to any opinion, purpose, or design, with obstinacy; perversely persistent; obstinate
  • adj. Resolute; persevering; constant; steady.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Unyielding; persistent; obstinate; especially, resolute, as in holding or adhering to an opinion, purpose, design, course of action, etc.
  • Synonyms Unyielding, dogged: the word is rarely used now except in condemnation. See obstinate.

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

  • adj. stubbornly unyielding

Etymologies

From Latin pertināx, pertināc- : per-, per- + tenāx, tenacious (from tenēre, to hold; see ten- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin pertinax; per- ‘very’ + tenax ‘tenacious’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This proposition continued to be supported with a degree of earnestness which its opponents termed pertinacious, but not a single opinion was changed.

    Life and Times of Washington

  • "Suspendeds, '' [FN#446] and Al-Mutalammis the" pertinacious "satirist, friend and intimate with Tarafah of the" Prize Poem. "

    Arabian nights. English

  • If a pertinacious minority can control the opinion of a majority respecting the best mode of conducting it, the majority, in order that something may be done, must conform to the views of the minority; and thus the sense of the smaller number will overrule that of the greater ….

    The Volokh Conspiracy » California’s Woes and Prop 13

  • Since its founding in 1969, the Man Booker prize for fiction regularly outrages discerning readers by the pertinacious imbecility of its judges' choices for the shortlist—though, just as often, the actual winner has pleased the same readers.

    Time, Again, for Posh Bingo

  • The most pertinacious sophipathologies of the twenty-second century CE were mutually exclusive, leading to the easy formation of ideological splinter groups.

    sit back and i'll tell you we're living in fear

  • A mule is stubborn, and may manifest glimmering adumbrations of cunning; but the husky can be characterized as pertinacious, deceitful, sharp, and, above all, well capable of deductive reasoning.

    Husky — The Wolf Dog of the North

  • Last Friday the ever pertinacious Ms. Sparky scooped everyone by reporting that according to a recent memo from Col. Nolan of the U.S.

    David Isenberg: You Have 20 Days to Get Out of Town

  • A battle of wits inevitably ensued over the hour; sociopathic astrophysicist versus pertinacious detective.

    LUTHER; clichéd but fun | Obsessed With Film

  • If a pertinacious minority can control the opinion of a majority respecting the best mode of conducting it, the majority, in order that something may be done, must conform to the views of the minority; and thus the sense of the smaller number will overrule that of the greater….

    The Volokh Conspiracy » California’s Woes and Prop 13

  • There was something in the moody and dogged silence of this pertinacious companion that was mysterious and appalling.

    The Haunted

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