adjective or·nery \ˈr-nə-rē, ˈär-; ˈrn-rē, ˈärn-\

: easily annoyed or angered

: difficult to deal with or control


Full Definition of ORNERY

:  having an irritable disposition :  cantankerous
or·neri·ness noun

Examples of ORNERY

  1. I'm getting more and more ornery in my old age.
  2. <an ornery old man who always yells at the neighborhood kids to keep off his lawn>
  3. Based on the best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit tells the true story of an ornery, undersize, beaten-up Thoroughbred who becomes a champion in the 1930s. —Lev Grossman, Time, 21 July 2003

Origin of ORNERY

alteration of ordinary
First Known Use: 1816


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