Have you ever been talking to someone who is downright awkward, uncooperative, argumentative, and verging on being rude? If so, you may have been talking to a cantankerous person.
Cantankerous is a word that is of old English origin.
Cantankerous is an adjective.
An adjective modifies, changes, or adds specific attributes to a noun. Read more about adjectives.
The Cambridge Dictionary definition of cantankerous is ‘arguing and complaining a lot‘
‘annoyed and tending to argue and complain‘
Both of the definitions above suggest that the person is annoyed, angry, or argumentative. We agree, but often use the word to describe someone who is deliberately argumentative, even though their arguments may not be based on fact or even their own beliefs. In this respect, we like to use the word ‘awkward’ as well as ‘argumentative’. Some people may also suggest that a cantankerous person is somewhat confrontational, facetious, obtuse, and aggressive. All these words will have their own Word of the Day posts in due course!
Example sentences with the word cantankerous in them include:
- The man in the shop was cantankerous. He would not let the shop assistant explain their point.
- The people became cantankerous because they were frustrated by their long wait.
- I dislike speaking to cantankerous people. I much prefer talking to those who a softly spoken, rational, and reasonable at all times.
- Hopefully, people do not think that the author of Write Correctly is a cantankerous person. 🙁
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