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  • Adj.




Extra security was needed at the rock concert to control the disorderly, loud, and obstreperous fans, but luckily things didn’t get out of hand. Although the obstreperous audience was aggressive, stubborn, and not easily controlled, the security members were able to keep the crowd at a dull roar. Things were not made easier by the fact that the rowdy band was known for its own immature, rebellious, and obstreperous behavior during concerts.

Quiz: When is someone considered obstreperous?

  • When they break the law by mistake.
  • When they are loud and nearly uncontrollable.
  • When they like to listen to Bach harpsichord concertos.

Memory Hook

Perilous Obstruction The obstreperous crowd was so uncontrollable and unruly that it proved to be a perilous or dangerous obstruction to the soccer teams' safety, so riot police had to be sent in to control the obstreperous fans, who were noisily and aggressively shouting about a bad call by the referee.


  • “At one point in the news conference,” The Post reported, “reporters booed one colleague and hooted down another whose questions struck his colleagues as obstreperous.” —The Washington Post
  • Old people are routinely offered poorer treatment than the young, but the worse outcome is blamed on their age. The first imperative for those wishing to be a healthy hundred, therefore, is to be informed, stay in command and be thoroughly obstreperous in refusing to be fobbed off with second-rate medical care. —The Independent
  • Depositions, which often devolve into oral brawls involving combatants in neatly pressed suits, tend to be more civilized when a camera is running, lawyers say. There are fewer legal antics and a greater sense of decorum, they contend, because judges are more likely to sanction overly obstreperous lawyers if they view their misbehavior on video. —The Washington Post

Word Ingredients

ob- thoroughly
streper make a din, shout noisily
-ous possessing the nature of

An obstreperous football fan “possesses the nature of thoroughly making a din or shouting noisily.”

Word Constellation