• WordNet 3.6
    • adj restive impatient especially under restriction or delay "the government has done nothing to ease restrictions and manufacturers are growing restive"
    • adj restive being in a tense state
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Restive Impatient under coercion, chastisement, or opposition; refractory.
    • Restive Inactive; sluggish.
    • Restive Uneasy; restless; averse to standing still; fidgeting about; -- applied especially to horses.
    • a Restive Unwilling to go on; obstinate in refusing to move forward; stubborn; drawing back. "Restive or resty, drawing back, instead of going forward, as some horses do.""The people remarked with awe and wonder that the beasts which were to drag him [Abraham Holmes] to the gallows became restive , and went back."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • restive Unwilling to go or to move forward; stopping; balky; obstinate; stubborn. Compare def. 5.
    • restive Not easily moved or worked; stiff.
    • restive Being at rest; being less in motion.
    • restive Impatient under restraint or opposition; recalcitrant.
    • restive Refusing to rest or stand still; restless: said especially of horses.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Restive res′tiv unwilling to go forward: obstinate: jibbing back like a restive horse
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. restif, F. rétif, fr. L. restare, to stay back, withstand, resist. See Rest remainder, and cf. Restiff
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. restif—L. restāre, to rest.


In literature:

To the rider nothing was apparent which could account for the sudden restiveness of his beast.
"The Haunters & The Haunted" by Various
The horse was restive.
"The Portion of Labor" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
At the revolt of Capua the rest of Campania also became restive, and the news of the town's secession troubled the Romans.
"Dio's Rome, Volume 1 (of 6)" by Cassius Dio
The French people themselves were a little restive under what was supposed to be British inaction.
"My Second Year of the War" by Frederick Palmer
The fact that the girls were restive made the teachers more strict, and that in its turn produced fresh complaints.
"A Popular Schoolgirl" by Angela Brazil
How will it be if the callous crew take it into their heads at some or other to show restiveness?
"The Chequers" by James Runciman
Then I gave the restive animal a sharp touch of the spur, sending him swiftly forward.
"My Lady of Doubt" by Randall Parrish
They had been restive, backing and jerking and pawing and nickering for their feed-box.
"The Prairie Wife" by Arthur Stringer
The most restive and vicious animals trembled under him and became like lambs.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete" by John Symonds
Barnard was pretty restive that night, tossed on his bunk, and complained much of his head aching.
"Tom Slade at Black Lake" by Percy Keese Fitzhugh
All night Aaron McGivins had lain there, restive and unable to sleep.
"A Pagan of the Hills" by Charles Neville Buck
The horse seemed to understand his master's actions, and, although still restive, allowed Bob to mount.
"The Saddle Boys of the Rockies" by James Carson
He was growing a little restive under my handling.
"The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VI. (of X.)" by Various
Nor is there any reason for maintaining, as is often done, that editors are restive under criticism.
"The Patient Observer" by Simeon Strunsky
In five or six weeks I had thought, in any case, of allowing you to leave Champel-les-Bains, should you grow too restive lacking my society.
"Set in Silver" by Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson
Her look made him feel very restive and intensely reserved.
"The Way of Ambition" by Robert Hichens
Then suddenly the wire caught fast, and his machine stopped and strained like a restive horse, the power wheel racing furiously.
"Tom Slade Motorcycle Dispatch Bearer" by Percy Keese Fitzhugh
The horses were restive, and not inclined to stand still.
"The Colonel's Dream" by Charles W. Chesnutt
The professor gets a little restive if I keep him waiting for his daily bread.
"Love Among the Chickens" by P. G. Wodehouse
The young people were getting restive.
"A Little Girl in Old Detroit" by Amanda Minnie Douglas

In poetry:

Many are on the sea to-day
With all sails set.
The tide rolls in a restive gray,
The wind blows wet.
The gull is weary of his wings,
And I am weary of all things.
"Songs Of A Sea-Farer" by Cale Young Rice
Why strive for love when love is o'er?
Why bind a restive heart?—
He never knew the pain I bore
In saying: 'We must part; Let us be friends and nothing more.'
—Oh, woman's shallow art!
"Heart’s Chill Between" by Christina Georgina Rossetti
Says Ingleside, "Mate, should the pony go straight,
You've no time to stop or turn restive;"
Says I, "Who means to stop? I shall go till I drop;"
Says he, "Go it, old cuss, gay and festive."
"Hippodromania; Or, Whiffs From The Pipe" by Adam Lindsay Gordon
Neither shies he nor is restive,
But a hideously suggestive
Trot, professional and placid, he affects;
And the cadence of his hoof-beats
To my mind this grim reproof beats: —
"Mend your pace, my friend, I'm coming. Who's the next?"
"The Undertaker's Horse.." by Rudyard Kipling

In news:

Shiite refugees from Pakistan's restive Kurram region taking shelter at a hotel in Peshawar.
The region is restive as it ends.
Trade and restive Arab world outweigh differences on Iran.
Syrian forces bombard restive city.
Syrian Troops Advance on Restive City of Hama.
China Clamps Down on Protests in Restive Worker Region.
Obama's Next Worry: A Restive Left Flank.
Amid restive cultural divides, Louvre's biggest facelift in a generation honors Islamic art.
Islamist forces in Mali's restive northern region have seized the town of Gao following clashes with Tuareg rebels in which at least 20 people were killed.
Sudan has launched a massive vaccination campaign to immunize 2.4 million people against an outbreak of yellow fever in the restive region of Darfur, the UN said Monday.
Coal Miner Will Pursue Project With Government in Restive Xinjiang Region.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that blamed the security company formerly known as Blackwater for the deaths of four contractors killed in a 2004 ambush on the restive streets of Iraq.
France 24 TV says its Cairo correspondent was 'savagely attacked' near restive Tahrir Square.
Bahrain opposition groups welcomed a government appeal for dialogue to break a deadlock in the restive kingdom, saying they were prepared to meet without any pre-conditions, but called for the results of talks to be put to a referendum.
MICHIGAN — Who pays attention to lame- duck politicians during a restive election year.