Definition of churlish
2 : marked by a lack of civility or graciousness : surly he didn't like the churlish tone in his voice — Margaret Truman outrage is among your more churlish emotions — Robert Goldsborough It would be churlish not to congratulate her.
3 : difficult to work with or deal with : intractable churlish soil
churlish was our Word of the Day on 04/12/2007. Hear the podcast!
Examples of churlish in a Sentence
It would be churlish not to congratulate him.
it would be churlish for any dinner guest to express anything but gratitude for his host's generous hospitality
Did You Know?
It is easy to understand how "churlish" has come to mean "vulgar," "surly," and "intractable" if you know your English history. In Anglo-Saxon England a churl, or ceorl, was a freeman of the lowest rank who owned and cultivated a small farm. He had certain rights and had the upward mobility to rise to the rank of thane. After the Norman Conquest, however, many churls became serfs, and the word churl eventually came to be used as a pejorative for a rude, ill-bred person.
Origin and Etymology of churlish
First Known Use: before 12th century
Synonym Discussion of churlish
CHURLISH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of churlish for English Language Learners
: not polite
Seen and Heard
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