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cantankerous

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adjective can·tan·ker·ous \kan-ˈtaŋ-k(ə-)rəs, kən-\

Simple Definition of cantankerous

  • : often angry and annoyed

Full Definition of cantankerous

  1. :  difficult or irritating to deal with <a cantankerous mule>

can·tan·ker·ous·ly adverb
can·tan·ker·ous·ness noun

Examples of cantankerous

  1. Contemporaries often found him aloof, standoffish, and cantankerous and his mannerisms and diction inscrutable. —Jonathan Spence, New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2009

  2. There are those who contend the hockey maven is a cantankerous old coot—rife with unpopular opinions and quick to assert them —Rick Harrison, Newsday, 19 Sept. 2004

  3. … it's something ultimately more memorable: a self-portrait of a coolly cantankerous woman, reformed but unrepentant. —David Gates, New York Times Book Review, 21 Nov. 1999

  4. In his last years, Harriman was the kind of cantankerous old man who once berated a financial planner by threatening to make him sit in the corner and wear a dunce cap. —Bryan Burrough, Vanity Fair, January 1995

  5. <a cantankerous old woman who insisted that nothing should ever be allowed to change>



Origin of cantankerous

perhaps irregular from obsolete contack contention


First Known Use: 1772



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