ac·​ri·​mo·​ni·​ous ˌa-krə-ˈmō-nē-əs How to pronounce acrimonious (audio)
: angry and bitter : caustic, biting, or rancorous especially in feeling, language, or manner
an acrimonious dispute
acrimoniously adverb
acrimoniousness noun

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 The strikes would come as the union and the Big Three — General Motors, Ford and Jeep maker Stellantis — remain far apart on wages, benefits and worker schedules after weeks of acrimonious talks. Lauren Kaori Gurley, Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2023 Negotiations between the writers and the studios have been acrimonious. Bypaolo Confino, Fortune, 23 Aug. 2023 Mayor Michelle Wu and the city’s firefighters union hammered out a new labor contract, the mayor announced Monday in a surprising move following an acrimonious process to wrap up one of the last major open labor agreements. Sean Cotter,, 4 Sep. 2023 Gina Raimondo, the U.S. commerce secretary, has headed to Beijing in an attempt to find common economic ground with China while navigating an increasingly acrimonious geopolitical competition. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 28 Aug. 2023 The union’s negotiations with Stellantis have become particularly acrimonious. Jeanne Whalen, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023 Talks had been acrimonious on occasion, with union members at one point taking a no-confidence vote against Police Chief Ana Lalley. Gloria Casas, Chicago Tribune, 24 Aug. 2023 In a sign of the acrimonious debate to come, each of the House appropriations bills features sharp spending cuts that Democrats vehemently oppose -- even targeting some federal infrastructure programs that until recently had enjoyed bipartisan support. Tony Romm and Ian Duncan The Washington Post, Arkansas Online, 20 July 2023 The column followed the release of a six-part Netflix documentary about Harry and Meghan’s acrimonious split from the British royal family. Brian Melley, Fortune, 2 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'acrimonious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


acrimony + -ous

First Known Use

1651, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of acrimonious was in 1651

Dictionary Entries Near acrimonious

Cite this Entry

“Acrimonious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

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