like a churl; boorish; rude: churlish behavior.
of a churl; peasantlike.
niggardly; mean.
difficult to work or deal with, as soil.

Origin of churlish

before 1000; Middle English cherlish, Old English ceorlisc. See churl, -ish1
Related formschurl·ish·ly, adverbchurl·ish·ness, nounun·churl·ish, adjectiveun·churl·ish·ly, adverbun·churl·ish·ness, noun

Synonyms for churlish

Antonyms for churlish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for churlish

Contemporary Examples of churlish

Historical Examples of churlish

  • She was helpless, and he experienced a churlish satisfaction in her condition.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • Cold, churlish, sticky or clammy clays are never to the liking of the grape.

  • What a churlish idea it was to erect these barricades, Miss Dill!


    Charles James Lever

  • I was sorry for my churlish speech, and feared it had given her offence.

    Sir Ludar

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • It would have been churlish and inexpedient after this to insist on further conversation.

    "Unto Caesar"

    Baroness Emmuska Orczy

British Dictionary definitions for churlish



rude or surly
of or relating to peasants
Derived Formschurlishly, adverbchurlishness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for churlish

late Old English cierlisc "of or pertaining to churls," from churl + -ish. Meaning "deliberately rude" is late 14c. Related: Churlishly; churlishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper