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Civil Services



stubborn and difficult to manage

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refractory - stubborn

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Somebody or something ‘refractory’ is obstinately resistant to authority or control. This formal word stresses an active unwillingness and refusal to be moulded or changed, even if such recalcitrance leads to problems for the person in question or others around them. It can also be used in medical terminology to refer to an illness or disease that is resistant to treatment or cure.

Synonyms obstreperous
Antonyms tractable

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  1. There are a number of disciplinary measures in place at the school to deal with refractory students, but none are stringent enough in my opinion.

  2. Chris was crestfallen to learn that his persistent cough was a symptom of a condition that is refractory to treatment.

  3. That bank has so far stubbornly refused to comply with the demands of the regulatory committee. Their refractory behaviour will likely lead to a hefty fine.

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