- disposed to disobedience or indiscipline
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
un•ru•ly /ʌnˈruli/USA pronunciation adj., -li•er, -li•est.WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
not cooperative or well-behaved;
disorderly:an unruly gang of troublemakers.
un•ru•ly (un ro̅o̅′lē),
adj., -li•er, -li•est.
not submissive or conforming to rule;
lawless:an unruly class; an unruly wilderness.
Middle English unruely, equivalent. to un- un-1 + ruly, ruely governable, controllable;
see rule, -y1
disobedient, unmanageable, uncontrollable, stubborn, disorderly, riotous. Unruly, intractable, recalcitrant, refractory describe persons or things that resist management or control. Unruly suggests persistently disorderly behavior or character in persons or things:an unruly child, peevish and willful; wild, unruly hair.Intractable suggests in persons a determined resistance to all attempts to guide or direct them, in things a refusal to respond to attempts to shape, improve, or modify them:an intractable social rebel; a seemingly intractable problem in logistics.recalcitrant and refractory imply not only a lack of submissiveness but also an open, often violent, rebellion against authority or direction. Recalcitrant, the stronger of the two terms, suggests a stubborn and absolute noncompliance:a recalcitrant person, openly contemptuous of all authority.Refractory implies active, mulish disobedience, but leaves open the possibility of eventual compliance:refractory students, resisting efforts to interest them in their studies.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
unruly /ʌnˈruːlɪ/ adj ( -lier, -liest)
'unruly' also found in these entries: