Cantankerous meaning

kăn-tăngkər-əs
Difficult to handle.
adjective
16
1
Bad-tempered; quarrelsome.
adjective
12
2
The definition of cantankerous is someone who is bad tempered, grumpy or looking for an argument.

An example of cantankerous is a grumpy old man who lives on your street who is always watching the neighborhood kids to find something to yell at them about.

adjective
9
0
Given to or marked by an ill-tempered nature, ill-tempered, cranky, surly, crabby.
adjective
9
3
Ill-tempered and quarrelsome; disagreeable.

Disliked her cantankerous landlord.

adjective
7
0
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Note: Cantankerous is generally used to describe an unpleasant elderly person in a slightly pejorative manner. However, the term can be used to people in general, livestock, and machinery as well.
adjective
1
0

Origin of cantankerous

  • Perhaps from Middle English contek dissension (influenced by such words as rancorous) (cankerous) from Anglo-Norman contec possibly from Latin contāctus past participle of contingere to touch contact

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Perhaps derived from earlier contenkerous, from contentious + rancorous.

    From Wiktionary