adjective, or·ner·i·er, or·ner·i·est. Dialect.
Origin of ornery
Examples from the Web for ornery
The characters you play on the show are extremely diverse—ranging from a cocaine-rattled rich boy to an ornery Jewish grandpa.
The budding relationship between the ornery sexagenarian and the precocious young child ultimately gives the film its momentum.Meet Vincent McKenna, Your New Favorite Bill Murray Character|Alex Suskind|September 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He's an ornery cuss kind of Republican, extremely critical of Bush and Cheney back in the day.
Conard, the ornery lone researcher and writer, demands more of himself.
She was irritable and ornery almost all of the time, and she seemed to be trying to distance herself from the others.Inside Tania Head’s Terrible 9/11 Lie: ‘The Woman Who Wasn’t There’|Robin Gaby Fisher, Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr.|April 6, 2012|DAILY BEAST
And Ill bet that the devil, just to be ornery, will wait until the last hour of the four days.The Black Star|Johnston McCulley
They're little an' young an' they ain't never done nothin' ornery.The Gold Girl|James B. Hendryx
"That's an ornery--looking bronc," went on Belllounds, and he reached with careless hand for the mustang.The Mysterious Rider|Zane Grey
But that ain't saying that somebody's ornery critter won't harm him.Green Valley|Katharine Reynolds
Im an ornery, no-count cowboy with no one in this hull world to know or care what becomes o me.Langford of the Three Bars|Kate Boyles
adjective US and Canadian dialect, or informal
Word Origin for ornery
1816, American English dialectal contraction of ordinary (adj.). "Commonplace," hence "of poor quality, coarse, ugly." By c.1860 the sense had evolved to "mean, cantankerous." Related: Orneriness.