[ awr-nuh-ree ]
/ ˈɔr nə ri /

adjective, or·ner·i·er, or·ner·i·est. Dialect.

ugly and unpleasant in disposition or temper: No one can get along with my ornery cousin.
stubborn: I can't do a thing with that ornery mule.
low or vile.
inferior or common; ordinary.

Origin of ornery

First recorded in 1790–1800; contraction of ordinary

Related forms

or·ner·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ornery

British Dictionary definitions for ornery


/ (ˈɔːnərɪ) /

adjective US and Canadian dialect, or informal

stubborn or vile-tempered
low; treacherousan ornery trick

Derived Forms

orneriness, noun

Word Origin for ornery

C19: alteration of ordinary
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