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See more synonyms for churlish on Thesaurus.com
  1. like a churl; boorish; rude: churlish behavior.
  2. of a churl; peasantlike.
  3. niggardly; mean.
  4. difficult to work or deal with, as soil.
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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

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Antonyms for churlish

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for churlish

grumpy, uncivilized, sullen, rude, ornery, base, blunt, brusque, cantankerous, crude, crusty, curt, discourteous, dour, grouchy, gruff, harsh, ill-tempered, impolite, loutish

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


  1. rude or surly
  2. of or relating to peasants
  3. miserly
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper