- impatient of control, restraint, or delay, as persons; restless; uneasy.
- refractory; stubborn.
- refusing to go forward; balky: a restive horse.
- restless, nervous, or uneasy
- impatient of control or authority
early 15c., restyffe “not moving forward,” from Middle French restif “motionless, brought to a standstill” (Modern French rétif), from rester “to remain” (see rest (n.2)). Sense of “unmanageable” (1680s) evolved via notion of a horse refusing to go forward.