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 But the project brought Bacharach and David’s long collaboration to an acrimonious end. Stephen Deusner, SPIN, 22 Jan. 2024 But Anthony requested a trade in 2011, eventually landing with the New York Knicks after an acrimonious end to his time in Denver. Sean Neumann, Peoplemag, 12 Jan. 2024 Getting help to the region was further complicated by Syria’s civil war, the division of territory in the region and the acrimonious relations between President Bashar al-Assad and many Western nations, according to the New York Times. Lisa M. Krieger, The Mercury News, 2 Jan. 2024 Santa Clara and the 49ers have had an acrimonious relationship at times during their more than decade-long partnership. Grace Hase, The Mercury News, 25 Jan. 2024 There’s lots of pleasantly acrimonious banter, much of it in French. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 22 Jan. 2024 The billionaire grandson of the founder of fashion giant Hermès is reportedly planning to adopt his 51-year-old gardener as part of an audacious and acrimonious succession plan. Ryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 7 Dec. 2023 But political violence experts at insurance and consulting firms are also considering the possibility of a close and acrimonious contest that riles the faithful of both parties. Richard Vanderford, WSJ, 1 Jan. 2024 The partial victory means the Duke of Sussex, who is no longer a working royal following his acrimonious move to California with his wife, Meghan, will be awarded approximately $180,000. Elizabeth Both, NBC News, 15 Dec. 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 24 Feb. 2024.

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