I'm wondering if there is a word to describe the action of continuing with a course of action, despite being aware of the inappropriateness of it, or with the certain knowledge that it will fail.

I'm not talking about simple stubbornness, and it's not arrogance. It's a simple matter of carrying on regardless.

I'll give an example:

Driving a car, entering a highway/freeway, despite knowing one does not have enough fuel to reach the next refuelling station. When this is pointed out, a simple reply of "We'll wait and see" is all that is offered.

  • 1
    "Pigheaded" is sometimes an apt term.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 27, 2016 at 2:30
  • If the reply is, "We'll wait and see" the conclusion can't be that they "know"- you may know, but they are optimistic.
    – Jim
    Mar 27, 2016 at 4:40

3 Answers 3


I think I've found something, having finally got around to writing the question on this forum.

I believe "obstinate" or "obdurate" is what I was looking for.

Hope this helps someone else one day.

  • 1
    You could add a reference and definition for those words, you know. :)
    – NVZ
    Mar 27, 2016 at 9:10

persistent, adjective –Google

  1. continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

I stopped trying to correct them; they're too persistent.


The driver exhibited a Kamikaze resolve when he ...

Kamikaze n (often capital)

Whilst not the traditional meaning it can be used for

an extremely reckless person who seems to court death.

Some sources say this usage is slang, e.g. American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language. Also see 4th definition below.

1. (Military) (in World War II) one of a group of Japanese pilots who performed suicidal missions by crashing their aircraft, loaded with explosives, into an enemy target, esp a ship

2. (Historical Terms) an aircraft used for such a mission.

3. (modifier) (of an action) undertaken or (of a person) undertaking an action in the knowledge that it will result in the death of the person performing it in order that maximum damage may be inflicted on an enemy: a kamikaze attack; a kamikaze bomber.

4. (modifier) extremely foolhardy and possibly self-defeating: kamikaze pricing. -- http://www.thefreedictionary.com/kamikaze

  • 2
    About 733 of the 3,860 Japanese Kamikaze pilots were successful. The OP said, "certain failure," not certain death.
    – Mazura
    Mar 27, 2016 at 1:13
  • Include the word resolve (and the amount it took to do that) and this would be a good answer.
    – Mazura
    Mar 27, 2016 at 1:19
  • I too have that misgiving with my answer; but I submitted it because at least in modern/slang usage the emphasis seems to be on the recklessness aspect.
    – k1eran
    Mar 27, 2016 at 1:23
  • @Mazura agreed & updated.
    – k1eran
    Mar 27, 2016 at 1:35
  • It would need to be kamikazmic resolve (not a word). I meant more like "exhibited resolve akin to that of a Kamikaze pilot." The main offering being the word resolve and a Kamikaze as a simple and a rather foremost example of something requiring an exceptional level of it. I just didn't think of the word until I read your answer and thought it would do better here, opposed to a tack on to mine or on its own.
    – Mazura
    Mar 27, 2016 at 1:50

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