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Definition of "cantankerous" [can•tan•ker•ous]

  • Ill-tempered and quarrelsome; disagreeable: disliked her cantankerous landlord. (adjective)
  • Difficult to handle: "had to use liquid helium, which is supercold, costly and cantankerous” ( Boston Globe). (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "cantankerous" in a sentence
  • "Celestino, an anarchist veteran of the Spanish Civil War, lives in cantankerous old age in Paris, complaining to his daughter about their host country, yet not daring to return home for fear of Francoist reprisal."
  • "Republicans politely call him "cantankerous" - at least that's what they say in public."
  • "By the time Simon dragged ass into the taping, Ellen had some choice gay insults to hurl at him, calling the cantankerous Brit a "prima donna.""