Simple Definition of churlish
: not polite
Examples of churlish in a sentence
It would be churlish not to congratulate him.
<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
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