Word: obstreperous

Pronunciation: əb-STRE-pə-rəs

Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: noisy and difficult to control

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


Here’s another word I learned from the Elevate – Brain Training app. Though it really only came up in the Pronunciation game, I found the word “obstreperous” interesting enough to look up. As soon as I learned what it meant, I thought it would make a great addition to a writer’s vocabulary. Loud and uncontrollable people often make for interesting characters!

An “obstreperous” person is someone who is uncontrollable and noisy. The word arose in the late 16th century in the sense “clamorous” and comes from the Latin verb obstrepere, meaning “to make a loud noise”. This verb comprises the preposition ob “against” and the verb strepere “to make a noise”.

While I wouldn’t use such an uncommon word too often for fear of sounding pretentious, “obstreperous” would be an interesting description to use occasionally for characters who tend to cause trouble. The only few instances in which I’ve seen it used in context were references to people, but I assume the word can apply equally to animals or even machines. If you’re often inspired by indomitable people who like to make a lot of noise, you should have no problem writing for “obstreperous” characters!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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