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In a word: Obdurate

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:

OBDURATE

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That Latin word

durus

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, "hard," carries a lot of weight in English, cropping up in

durable

and

duress

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and

endure

. So it should not come as a great surprise that it is also at the bottom of

obdurate

(pronounced OB-dyoor-it). People who are obdurate hold stubbornly to their opinions or their courses of action, refusing to change them. In Middle English it referred to people "hardened in sin, impenitent," according to the

New Oxford American Dictionary

.

Example:

As the Mikado sings in Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, "And if you remain callous and obdurate, I / Shall perish as he did, and you will know why. …"

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