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  1. a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person.
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Origin of curmudgeon

1570–80; unexplained; perhaps cur- representing cur
Related formscur·mudg·eon·ly, adjective

Synonyms for curmudgeon

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

Related Words for curmudgeonly

frugal, miserly, thrifty, greedy, selfish, boorish, dour, sullen, rude, testy, ugly, morose, irritable, grouchy, grumpy, crusty, ornery, cantankerous, efficient, cost-effective

Examples from the Web for curmudgeonly

Contemporary Examples of curmudgeonly

British Dictionary definitions for curmudgeonly


  1. a surly or miserly person
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Derived Formscurmudgeonly, adjective

Word Origin for curmudgeon

C16: of unknown 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

Word Origin and History for curmudgeonly



1570s, of unknown origin; the suggestion, based on a misreading of a garbled note from Johnson, that it is from French coeur mechant "evil heart" is not taken seriously; the first syllable may be cur "dog." Liberman says the word "must have been borrowed from Gaelic (and references muigean "disagreeable person"), with variant spelling of intensive prefix ker-. Related: Curmudgeonly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper