[ kan-tang-ker-uhs ]
/ kænˈtæŋ kər əs /
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See synonyms for: cantankerous / cantankerousness on Thesaurus.com


disagreeable to deal with; contentious; peevish: a cantankerous, argumentative man.



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“Evoke” and “invoke” both derive from the same Latin root “vocāre.”

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Origin of cantankerous

First recorded in 1765–75; origin uncertain; earlier contankerous, perhaps derivation of Middle English contack, conteck “quarrel, contention,” from Anglo-French contek, formed on the models of contentious, rancorous

OTHER WORDS FROM cantankerous

can·tan·ker·ous·ly, adverbcan·tan·ker·ous·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use cantankerous in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cantankerous

/ (kænˈtæŋkərəs) /


quarrelsome; irascible

Derived forms of cantankerous

cantankerously, adverbcantankerousness, noun

Word Origin for cantankerous

C18: perhaps from C14 (obsolete) conteckour a contentious person, from conteck strife, from Anglo-French contek, of obscure origin
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