cross; cranky; surly; ill-tempered: a bad-tempered person.

Origin of bad-tempered

First recorded in 1920–25 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for bad-tempered

cantankerous, surly, waspish, atrabilious, snarly, splenetic

Examples from the Web for bad-tempered

Contemporary Examples of bad-tempered

Historical Examples of bad-tempered

  • Knowles was not bad-tempered, but he was a frequent cause of bad temper in other people.

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair

  • And he was so bad-tempered that the other giants called him Sharvan the Surly.

    Irish Fairy Tales

    Edmond Leamy

  • He's a bad-tempered brute, and I wonder the squire keeps it.

  • He was determined not to be bad-tempered, and smiled good-naturedly.

    Bird of Paradise

    Ada Leverson

  • My grandfather's horse was lean, hardy, and bad-tempered like himself.


    George Sand

British Dictionary definitions for bad-tempered



angry, irritable, or ungracious
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012