cur·​mud·​geon | \ (ˌ)kər-ˈmə-jən How to pronounce curmudgeon (audio) \

Definition of curmudgeon

1 : a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man
2 archaic : miser

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from curmudgeon

curmudgeonliness \ (ˌ)kər-​ˈmə-​jən-​lē-​nəs How to pronounce curmudgeon (audio) \ noun
curmudgeonly \ (ˌ)kər-​ˈmə-​jən-​lē How to pronounce curmudgeon (audio) \ 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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The 98-year-old resident curmudgeon is equally reliant on Jeff, his assistant, who received a much-deserved newsroom award recently for supporting Sid’s productivity surge during the Super Bowl. Paul Klauda, Star Tribune, "Sid Hartman being Sid Hartman made for an irresistible photo subject on Instagram," 21 Oct. 2020 This is only natural for a curmudgeon of my caliber; to mature is to make enemies. Jason Kehe, Wired, "Angry Nerd: Stop Turning My Favorite Antiheroes Into Heroes," 20 Oct. 2020 Despite his reputation as a curmudgeon, Hartman was routinely approached by fans for autographs and always obliged them. Jeff Baenen, Star Tribune, "Longtime Minnesota sports columnist Sid Hartman dies at 100," 18 Oct. 2020 Not a single curmudgeon insisted on having his Raphael back. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "In Rome, the Definitive Raphael Show: Raffaello: 1520–1483," 2 Sep. 2020 Even the crustiest curmudgeon couldn't argue about mothers and brothers not dying. Daniel Pund, Car and Driver, "Electronic Stability Control: Equal Parts Safety and Fun," 24 May 2020 Separately, some Nextdoor archetypes from the pre-coronavirus days persist — the curmudgeon who gripes about dog poop on lawns, or complains about people playing music or practicing instruments. Emma Silvers,, "Nextdoor is now the Bay Area stage where our hopes and fears about the coronavirus play out," 17 Apr. 2020 Meanwhile, China has gone from being a climate change curmudgeon to sometimes reaping praise as a global leader on the issue., "Three years into Donald Trump’s presidency, America’s global influence is waning. In interviews with the Associated Press, diplomats, foreign officials, and scholars from numerous countries describe a changing world order in which the United States has less of a central role.," 9 Dec. 2019 In it, noted racist curmudgeon Archie Bunker is making some crack about white people being superior. Anne Cohen,, "Mrs America Episode 3 Recap: What Shirley Chisholm’s Campaign & The 2020 Election Have In Common," 16 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curmudgeon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of curmudgeon

1568, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for curmudgeon

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about curmudgeon

Time Traveler for curmudgeon

Time Traveler

The first known use of curmudgeon was in 1568

See more words from the same year

Statistics for curmudgeon

Cite this Entry

“Curmudgeon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for curmudgeon



English Language Learners Definition of curmudgeon

old-fashioned : a person (especially an old man) who is easily annoyed or angered and who often complains

More from Merriam-Webster on curmudgeon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for curmudgeon

Comments on curmudgeon

What made you want to look up curmudgeon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!