cur·​mud·​geon (ˌ)kər-ˈmə-jən How to pronounce curmudgeon (audio)
: a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man
archaic : miser
curmudgeonliness noun
curmudgeonly adjective

Examples of curmudgeon in a Sentence

At his quirky best, the elder Cooper is a curmudgeon right out of central casting, grumpy old man meets borscht-belt crank. He really does fiddle with his hearing aid and yell, "What? I can't hear you," only to chide you afterward that there's no need to shout. Norah Vincent, New York Times Book Review, 19 Feb. 2006
We were in Edinburgh visiting the in-laws. I was, as usual, being a grumpy old curmudgeon. My people don't travel well. David Mamet, Jafsie and John Henry Essays, 1999
Oh, he had the reputation for being a curmudgeon, and he didn't suffer fools gladly, and often he seemed to have no tolerance for people at all. Robertson Davies, The Lyre of Orpheus, 1989
only a curmudgeon would object to the nursing home's holiday decorations
Recent Examples on the Web His recent European tour found the storied Irish troubadour and notorious curmudgeon sounding re-energized and earning rave reviews for shows that averaged 20 songs a night, all by artists who influenced him in his youth. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Aug. 2023 Tom Hanks plays a dashing curmudgeon; Adrien Brody makes the muscular theater director. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 15 June 2023 And in the United States, curmudgeons took to Twitter to complain about the Blue Angels, whose ficus-shaking roar has always been one of the most exciting sounds of summer to me. WIRED, 13 June 2023 Have a couple of these monsters, and even the most stubborn tiki curmudgeon might start to find the music charming and the outfits festive, and more importantly, begin to see the variety available in this boozy world of make believe. Jason O'Bryan, Robb Report, 24 June 2023 Was Jeff – our curmudgeon who spent his free time reading Civil War tomes – taking selfies in the hospital? Leo Dominguez, New York Times, 3 May 2023 His flaws were acknowledged but considered the unfortunate imperfections of a lovable curmudgeon. Frank Gannon, WSJ, 22 Mar. 2022 And even with a whole lot of commercials padding out the two hours, the show felt bloated and flat, with scant sense of the magic in all the fluff employed to flesh out the Grinch's journey from Christmas-stealing curmudgeon to his the spirit-of-the-holiday epiphany. Brian Lowry, CNN, 10 Dec. 2020 Millennial curmudgeon Soleil will be taking the anti-stance. Peter Hartlaub,, 29 Oct. 2020 See More

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1568, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of curmudgeon was in 1568

Dictionary Entries Near curmudgeon

Cite this Entry

“Curmudgeon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


cur·​mud·​geon kər-ˈməj-ən How to pronounce curmudgeon (audio)
: a grumpy and usually old man
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