ac·ri·mo·ni·ous | \ ˌa-krə-ˈmō-nē-əs \

Definition of acrimonious 

: angry and bitter : caustic, biting, or rancorous especially in feeling, language, or manner an acrimonious dispute

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from acrimonious

acrimoniously adverb
acrimoniousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for acrimonious


acrid, bitter, embittered, hard, rancorous, resentful, sore



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of acrimonious in a Sentence

Each man came out of their acrimonious 200-meter showdown on July 23 with an injured hamstring and a decidedly negative vibe. —Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated, 11 Sept. 2000 My May 19, 1967, memorandum to the president unleashed a storm of controversy.  … It led to tense and acrimonious Senate hearings that pitted me against the Joint Chiefs of Staff and generated rumors they intended to resign en masse. —Robert McNamara, In Retrospect, 1995 But considering the momentousness of the issue, the original Darwinian debate was far less acrimonious than might have been expected … —Gertrude Himmelfarb, American Scholar, Autumn 1981 We could tell, however, when debate became more acrimonious than professional, but this was from watching lawyers other than our father. —Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 He went through an acrimonious divorce. an acrimonious parting between the two former friends
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Pompeo has had acrimonious words for reporters who have questioned what exactly Kim had agreed to. David S. Cloud,, "Pompeo heads to North Korea to press Kim on nuclear disarmament," 6 July 2018 That in itself was emblematic of his acrimonious legal standoff with the university. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "2013 Louisville players take diplomatic stance on school vs. Rick Pitino," 3 July 2018 His Law and Justice party has eroded democratic freedoms and weakened the rule of law in Poland, while pushing the country into an increasingly acrimonious dispute with the European Union. Marc Santora, New York Times, "After a President’s Shocking Death, a Suspicious Twin Reshapes a Nation," 16 June 2018 Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah could potentially withdraw from the Egypt squad for this summer's World Cup - unless an acrimonious dispute between the player and the Egyptian FA is speedily resolved., "Mohamed Salah's Agent Claims Egypt Star Could Boycott World Cup Over 'Image Rights' Row," 30 Apr. 2018 Sharif has an acrimonious relationship with the army -- he was previously removed from power in a 1999 coup. Kamran Haider,, "Pakistan Rejects Ex-PM's Criticism Over Mumbai Attack Handling," 14 May 2018 Relations with Europe are at their lowest ebb in decades as allies brace for another acrimonious encounter with the president who last month harshly criticized them at the Group of Seven economic summit in Canada. Missy Ryan, Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, "At summit, Mattis faces uphill battle," 10 July 2018 Results from a survey released earlier this year suggest that thanks to President Trump’s new tax law, getting a divorce may be even more acrimonious and painful in the years ahead. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Financial Planners Are Warning Wealthy Clients That Trump's Tax Reform Is Making Divorce Much More Expensive," 9 July 2018 But in their Senate race, Arizona Republicans may end up with the worst of both worlds: A fringy nominee who is further damaged by an ugly and acrimonious nominating process. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Power Rankings: Not so peachy primaries," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acrimonious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of acrimonious

1651, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for acrimonious

acrimony + -ous

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about acrimonious

Share acrimonious

Dictionary Entries near acrimonious








Statistics for acrimonious

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for acrimonious

The first known use of acrimonious was in 1651

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on acrimonious

What made you want to look up acrimonious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!