• WordNet 3.6
    • n contumacy obstinate rebelliousness and insubordination; resistance to authority
    • n contumacy willful refusal to appear before a court or comply with a court order; can result in a finding of contempt of court
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Contumacy (Law) A willful contempt of, and disobedience to, any lawful summons, or to the rules and orders of court, as a refusal to appear in court when legally summoned.
    • Contumacy Stubborn perverseness; pertinacious resistance to authority. "The bishop commanded him . . . to be thrust into the stocks for his manifest and manifold contumacy ."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n contumacy Wilful and persistent resistance to legitimate authority of any kind; unyielding disobedience; stubborn perverseness in an illegal or wrong course of action.
    • n contumacy Specifically In law, wilful disobedience to a lawful order of a judicial or legislative body, or wilful contempt of its authority; a refusal to appear in court when legally summoned. Synonyms Stubbornness, perverseness, wilfulness, intractability. For comparison, see obstinate.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Contumacy obstinate disobedience or resistance
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. contumacia, fr. contumax, -acis, insolent; prob. akin to contemnere, to despise: cf. F. contumace,. Cf. Contemn
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. contumax, -acis, insolent, from con, and tum-ēre, to swell, or temn-ĕre, to despise.


In literature:

Happily, in the present case, there is no reason to fear that Thirza will exhibit any contumacy.
"With Frederick the Great" by G. A. Henty
Eighteen years ago he was condemned in contumacy for conspiracy against the life of the late King.
"The Eternal City" by Hall Caine
He was utterly opposed to the concessions which were made while South Carolina still remained contumacious.
"John Quincy Adams" by John. T. Morse
She took no notice, and was declared contumacious.
"Henry VIII." by A. F. Pollard
They often discussed the contumacy of the colony, but went no further than words.
"History of the United States, Vol. I (of VI)" by E. Benjamin Andrews
The penalties were fines, and for contumacy or grave offences, suspension or expulsion.
"Life in the Medieval University" by Robert S. Rait
I well understand the cause of his contumacious behaviour.
"The Lone Ranche" by Captain Mayne Reid
Bellingham to the last maintained his contumacious and determined character.
"Recollections of Old Liverpool" by A Nonagenarian
He, however, added to his contumacy by surviving until his ninety-second year.
"The Magnificent Montez" by Horace Wyndham
To question his imbecile ideas is to stand in contumacy of the revelation of God.
"The American Credo" by George Jean Nathan

In poetry:

But let him mortal insolence behold:--
How with proud contumacy rife,
Wantons the stem in lusty life
My marriage craving;--frenzy over-bold,
Spur ever-pricking, goads them on to fate,
By ruin taught their folly all too late.
"A Prayer For Artemis" by Aeschylus

In news:

Every morning I expect my teenage daughter to be contumacious when I try to get her out of bed at 6 a.m.