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crabby,cranky,crotchety,curmudgeonly,grouchy

bilious,grumpy,quarrelsome,surly,tetchy

grumpy, amiable, pleasant, agreeable

cantankerous

IPA

How to pronounce cantankerous (audio)

Dictionary definition of cantankerous

Disagreeable, irritable, and prone to arguing or complaining.
"Her father can be a cantankerous old fossil at times."

Detailed meaning of cantankerous

It can also describe a person who is grouchy, grumpy, and surly in their demeanor. For example, a person who is constantly arguing or picking fights with others might be described as being cantankerous. A person who is easily annoyed or angered and who is difficult to please might also be seen as being cantankerous. The term is often used to describe a person who is difficult to get along with or who is prone to behaving in an unpleasant or disagreeable manner.

Example sentences of cantankerous

1. The cantankerous old man grumbled and complained about everything.
2. She had a cantankerous attitude towards her coworkers.
3. He was known for his cantankerous behavior during meetings.
4. The cantankerous customer made a scene in the store.
5. She had a cantankerous disposition that made her hard to be around.
6. The cantankerous dog barked and growled at anyone who came near.

History and etymology of cantankerous

The adjective 'cantankerous' has a somewhat mysterious etymology, with no clear and universally accepted origin. It is believed to have emerged in the early 19th century in the United States. One theory suggests that 'cantankerous' may have evolved from the Middle English word 'conteke,' which means 'contention' or 'quarreling.' Another theory links it to the Gaelic word 'ceanntach,' meaning 'contentious' or 'quarrelsome.' Regardless of its exact origin, 'cantankerous' describes a person who is disagreeable, irritable, and prone to arguing or complaining. Its etymology remains somewhat elusive, but the term effectively conveys the idea of a contentious and quarrelsome disposition, often associated with grumbling and irritability.

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Further usage examples of cantankerous

1. He had a cantankerous streak that made him difficult to deal with.
2. The cantankerous engine sputtered and coughed before finally starting.
3. She was cantankerous and unwilling to cooperate.
4. The cantankerous politician refused to compromise on any issue.
5. He was as bitter and stubborn as a cantankerous old mule.
6. The Upper Chamber was full of cantankerous octogenarians who were in no hurry to pass legislation this side of Christmas.
7. She was a cantankerous old woman who lived life like it was still 1940.
8. He was given the role of a cantankerous old man, but is worried he'll become typecast.
9. He enjoys playing the TV role of a cantankerous old man and says it comes naturally to him.
10. He has become bitter and cantankerous in his old age.
11. The cantankerous neighbor, known for endless disputes, argued again about property lines.
12. His persistently cantankerous mood cast a dark cloud over the once-happy family gathering.
13. The cantankerous old man had a penchant for yelling at innocent passersby.
14. Handling a cantankerous customer's complaints can be an exercise in patience.
15. The cantankerous boss, with a knack for criticism, demoralized his diligent employees.
16. Her cantankerous attitude was like a storm that soured the entire office atmosphere.
17. To avoid unnecessary conflict, I usually steer clear of the cantankerous coworker.
18. The cantankerous cat hissed menacingly at anyone who dared approach it.
19. Their cantankerous arguments, filled with venomous words, could be heard throughout the building.
20. The cantankerous chef, notorious for berating the kitchen staff, created a hostile work environment.
21. Behind the wheel, the cantankerous driver was infamous for honking impatiently at every red light.
22. Parenting a cantankerous toddler can be an exhausting test of patience.
23. The cantankerous meeting, marked by heated disagreements, ended with no resolution in sight.
24. She's widely known for her cantankerous and consistently rude behavior.
25. His incessant cantankerous complaints cast a pall over what was meant to be a joyous party.
26. Navigating a cantankerous online forum requires a thick skin and a lot of tolerance.
27. The cantankerous clerk, clearly in a bad mood, showed no inclination to help customers.
28. Despite the best efforts of medical professionals, the cantankerous patient adamantly refused to follow their advice.
29. Successfully dealing with cantankerous in-laws often necessitates the skill of diplomacy.
30. The cantankerous teacher, with a propensity for scolding, made students' lives miserable.

Synonyms

crabby
cranky
crotchety
curmudgeonly
grouchy

Quiz categories containing cantankerous

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Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game

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