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  • Adj.

obstreperous

uhb-STREP-er-uhs

Context
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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 that person breaks the law.
  • When that person is loud and nearly uncontrollable.
  • When that person causes a riot.

Memory Hook
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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.

Examples
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  • When they return to Ottawa in the autumn, the caucus may prove obstreperous, perhaps blocking social measures, such as an overhaul of the Indian Act. —The Economist
  • There was a thread over on eGullet about white chocolate, in the pastry and baking forum, and many of the pros over there said that white chocolate especially can be very obstreperous, and some brands are known for misbehaving. —Cooking Light
  • Governments, especially obstreperous ones that are not all that happy with their country’s status in the world, often behave in this way. —The Washington Post
  • Frank could serve a beer and he was such a charming man that he seldom had to get physical with even the most obstreperous drunk, not that he wasn’t perfectly capable of handling a vicious drunk. —Newsvine

Word Ingredients
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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
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Obstreperous