Are You Tenacious, Resolute, or Just Plain Stubborn? Say What You Mean!


Not long ago, I published a list of words that are similar but are not exactly the same. In writing, even the spaces between words become important. It is crucial that writers use exactly the correct word. Let’s consider the word “stubborn.” Somehow, I don’t like being called stubborn, but does the word “tenacious” mean the same thing? Let’s look at some definitions:


When I casually look at the definition for tenacious, it sounds very similar to being stubborn. A tenacious person is determined and dogged and strong-willed and unyielding. Let’s see if being stubborn is anything different.


Ahhhh! I get it. Because a stubborn person refuses to change his position “in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so,” he is perhaps rather unreasonable, and he is set apart from someone who is merely tenacious.


A tenacious person seems to have something more positive about himself or herself. Still, I believe that I would prefer to be called resolute. I like that quality more than either of the other two.

There is a handy, online tool for finding similar words at

You insert your search term in the window and numerous possible synonyms are flashed. Following is the list of synonyms for the word “stubborn.”


Once you see the list, however, you have to check the definitions of the words. Not every synonym works in every instance.

We all need to tenaciously pursue exactly the correct word and then, we must be resolute that we don’t stubbornly hang on to the wrong word, once we discover that it is wrong.

©Jacki Kellum August 6, 2016





6 thoughts on “Are You Tenacious, Resolute, or Just Plain Stubborn? Say What You Mean!

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