- of a churl or churls; rustic
- like a churl; surly; boorish
- stingy or mean
- Now Rare hard to work or manage
A husband telling his wife she looks fat is an example of churlish.Taking the last two samples when not everyone has taken one is an example of churlish.
- Having a bad disposition; surly: “as valiant as the lion, churlish as the bear” ( Shakespeare )
- Archaic Of, like, or befitting a churl; boorish or vulgar.
- Archaic Difficult to work with; intractable. Used as of soil.
(comparative more churlish, superlative most churlish)
From late Old English cierlisc (“of or pertaining to churls”), from churl + -ish. Meaning "deliberately rude" is late 14c.
- Sometimes sullen, childish and occasionally downright churlish, you've been known to try the patience of your loved ones!
- The story that Earl Godwine himself was of churlish birth, whether true or false, marks the possibility of such a rise.
- The French deemed the Scots shabby, poor and avaricious: their grooms werekilled by the peasantry when they went foraging: the nobles were churlish and inhospitable.
- He has two neighbours, who live still farther north; one is King Winter, a cross and churlish old monarch, who is hard and cruel, and delights in making the poor suffer and weep; but the other neighbour is Santa Claus, a fine, good-natured, jolly old soul, who loves to do good, and who brings presents to the poor, and to nice little children at Christmas.
- Johnson, of whose various and often merely churlish remarks on Garrick and his doings many are scattered through the pages of Boswell, spoke warmly of the elegance and sprightliness of his friend's conversation, as well as of his liberality and kindness of heart; while to the great actor's art he paid the exquisite tribute of describing Garrick's sudden death as having " eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure."