crotch·​ety ˈkrä-chə-tē How to pronounce crotchety (audio)
: given to crotchets (see crotchet sense 2a) : subject to whims, crankiness, or ill temper
a crotchety old man
a crotchety critic
: full of or arising from crotchets
a crotchety style
Crotchety twilight-of-life drama.Entertainment Weekly
crotchetiness noun

Examples of crotchety in a Sentence

None of the students dared to talk back to the crotchety old teacher. I get crotchety after a long day at work.
Recent Examples on the Web The narrators of these stories are crotchety, easily nettled by the behaviors of other passengers. Jasmine Liu, The New Republic, 24 Oct. 2023 Not to mention mostly crotchety baseball writers, the most tenured of which make up the Hall of Fame voting electorate. Dallas News, 20 Jan. 2023 This casual yet momentous inversion of the domestic labors that Beauvoir cursed yields the indelible image of a crotchety old lady propped up with her small menagerie in bed, while, in the kitchen, the men marinate a leg of lamb for her dinner. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021 Ford is fine as the crotchety old outdoorsman, with Omar Sy and Cara Gee -- portraying the intrepid mail carriers -- the only other flesh-and-blood creatures that even register. Brian Lowry, CNN, 20 Feb. 2020 The oldest candidate in the race, the determinedly crotchety 78-year-old Senator Sanders, is a hit with the youngest voters tracking the 2020 campaign., 15 Dec. 2019 Spencer's crotchety grandfather, Eddie (Danny DeVito), and his elderly pal Milo (Danny Glover), get sucked into the game, too. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 13 Dec. 2019 And a crotchety old skirt-chasing white guy who has been elected to office once as a Republican and precisely zero times as a Democrat? Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 5 Dec. 2019 Beal — by then a crotchety town character — would be known to loudly declare, often while shirtless. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, 21 July 2019

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

Word History


see crotchet

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of crotchety was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near crotchety

Cite this Entry

“Crotchety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


crotch·​ety ˈkräch-ət-ē How to pronounce crotchety (audio)
: subject to whims, crankiness, or ill temper
crotchetiness noun

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