a. Uneasily impatient or hard to control under restriction, opposition, criticism, or delay: Passengers on board the delayed airliner began to grow restive.
b. Characterized by impatience or an absence of calm; unsettled: had a restive feeling that something wasn't quite right.
2. Refusing to move. Used of a horse or other animal.
[Middle English restif, stationary, from Old French, from rester, to remain, from Latin restāre, to keep back : re-, re- + stāre, to stand; see stā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.