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

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Other Words from acrimonious

acrimoniously adverb
acrimoniousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for acrimonious


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



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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

The increasingly acrimonious Republican Party primary for U.S. Senate has spilled over to the airwaves this week with Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir trading verbal jabs on talk radio. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin U.S. Senate race: Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir trade verbal jabs on talk radio," 11 July 2018 Some of the victims had links to Jones' acrimonious divorce. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "Ex-wife of Arizona killer lived in fear for 9 years waiting for 'his revenge'," 13 June 2018 There are signs the rift is growing more acrimonious, threatening to polarize the Bitcoin community around the world. Jen Wieczner, Fortune, "Will the Real Bitcoin Please Stand Up?," 5 May 2018 The Trump administration has embroiled the United States in increasingly acrimonious conflicts with huge trading partners. Peter S. Goodman,, "With a trade war possible, global economy already feels the effect," 16 June 2018 The referendum follows an emotive and often acrimonious campaign. NBC News, "Ireland repeals abortion ban as 'quiet revolution' transforms country," 26 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 And Greg Jaffe, Washington Post, "Trump’s combative words on NATO put Mattis in an increasingly tough spot," 9 July 2018 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

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.

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First Known Use of acrimonious

1651, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for acrimonious

acrimony + -ous

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Last Updated

28 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for acrimonious

The first known use of acrimonious was in 1651

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playful or foolish behavior

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