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adjective churl·ish \ˈchər-lish\

Simple Definition of churlish

  • : not polite

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of churlish

  1. 1 :  of, resembling, or characteristic of a churl :  vulgar

  2. 2 :  marked by a lack of civility or graciousness :  surly

  3. 3 :  difficult to work with or deal with :  intractable <churlish soil>

churlishly adverb
churlishness noun

Examples of churlish in a sentence

  1. It would be churlish not to congratulate him.

  2. <it would be churlish for any dinner guest to express anything but gratitude for his host's generous hospitality>

Did You Know?

It is easy to understand how "churlish" has come to mean "vulgar," "surly," and "intractable" if you know your English history. In Anglo-Saxon England a churl, or ceorl, was a freeman of the lowest rank who owned and cultivated a small farm. He had certain rights and had the upward mobility to rise to the rank of thane. After the Norman Conquest, however, many churls became serfs, and the word churl eventually came to be used as a pejorative for a rude, ill-bred person.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of churlish

before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of churlish

boorish, churlish, loutish, clownish mean uncouth in manners or appearance. boorish implies rudeness of manner due to insensitiveness to others' feelings and unwillingness to be agreeable <a drunk's boorish behavior>. churlish suggests surliness, unresponsiveness, and ungraciousness <churlish remarks>. loutish implies bodily awkwardness together with stupidity <a loutish oaf>. clownish suggests ill-bred awkwardness, ignorance or stupidity, ungainliness, and often a propensity for absurd antics <an adolescent's clownish conduct>.

Rhymes with churlish

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Seen and Heard

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expressing little or no emotion

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