AskDefine | Define cantankerous

Dictionary Definition

cantankerous adj
1 stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate; "unions...have never been as bloody-minded about demarcation as the shipbuilders"- Spectator [syn: bloody-minded]
2 having a difficult and contrary disposition; "a cantankerous and venomous-tongued old lady"- Dorothy Sayers [syn: crotchety, ornery]

User Contributed Dictionary



Perhaps derived from earlier contenkerous, from contentious + rancorous.


  • /kænˈtæŋkəɹəs/ or /kənˈtæŋkəɹəs/


  1. Stubborn, cranky, or surly
    The cantankerous landlord always grumbled when asked to fix something.


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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