Positive Word for Stubborn

Need a positive word for stubborn?

Here are a few suitable replacements.

Strong-willed: Perhaps the best positive word that you can use in place of stubborn.

It implies both strength and a powerful force of will, which are all qualities that are positive.

Another option would be the word iron-willed.

Persistent: A word that comes form the Middle French persistance.

However, this word is not always entirely positive. It is often implied that someone who is persistent is also stubborn so this may not necessarily be the word you want to use.

Pigheaded: Obviously you don’t want to use this word, it’s even more negative than stubborn.

Tenacious: Good word, but just like persistent, tenacious also has some negative connotations and although it’s more positive than stubborn, is not entirely without implied stubbornness.

Obstinate: Almost as bad as stubborn from my perspective, although opinions will vary.

Not as bad as pigheaded, but definitely not as positive as strong-willed. Do not use as a positive replacement for stubborn.

Headstrong: This word does imply strength and power, and it’s a far more positive word than obstinate and pigheaded, but I would still say that strong-willed and iron-willed are more positive words in any situation.

So here are a few examples on how you can tell your friend that he’s stubborn, in a nice way:

  • You’re so strong-willed!

  • I wish I was as strong-minded as you.

  • John is so strong-willed… he can do anything.

  • He has such an iron will!
  • She’s an iron-willed champion

And so on.