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  1. given to odd notions, whims, grouchiness, etc.
  2. of the nature of a crotchet.
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Origin of crotchety

First recorded in 1815–25; crotchet + -y1
Related formscrotch·et·i·ness, noun

Synonyms for crotchety

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

Related Words for crotchety

grouchy, grumpy, crusty, ornery, cantankerous, awkward, bad-tempered, contrary, crabby, cranky, cross, difficult, disagreeable, eccentric, fractious, irritable, obstinate, obstreperous, odd, peevish

Examples from the Web for crotchety

Contemporary Examples of crotchety

Historical Examples of crotchety

  • Oh, he's old and lame, I suppose, and has a crotchety temper.

  • And I've no doubt you think me simply a disagreeable, crotchety old person.

  • Like all radicals and reformers they had a fringe of unbalanced and crotchety folk.

    The Negro and the Nation

    George S. Merriam

  • He was poor and crotchety, and as regards professional matters unsteady.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope

  • The ill-natured, crotchety, old—the fact is, he is a misogynist.

    A Simpleton

    Charles Reade

British Dictionary definitions for crotchety


  1. informal cross; irritable; contrary
  2. full of crotchets
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Derived Formscrotchetiness, 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 crotchety


1825, from crotchet "whim or fancy" + -y (2). But the sense evolution is obscure.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper