adjective: Restless, uneasy.


From Middle French rester (to remain), from Latin restare (to remain standing). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sta- (to stand), which is also the source of stay, stage, stable, instant, establish, static, system, stet and nihil obstat. Earliest documented use: 1549.


Earlier the word meant refusing to go forward, as in a restive horse. Over time the word shifted in meaning and now it means the opposite. Instead of "unable to advance", now it means "unable to remain still".


"The more than 500,000 small-scale coffee farmers are restive. Last month thousands marched though Manizales, the capital of the coffee-belt, demanding more government help and a shake-up of the federation."
Bitter Grounds; The Economist (London, UK); Sep 15, 2012.