from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Ill-tempered and quarrelsome; disagreeable: disliked her cantankerous landlord.
- adj. Difficult to handle: "had to use liquid helium, which is supercold, costly and cantankerous” ( Boston Globe).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. given to or marked by an ill-tempered nature, ill-tempered, cranky, surly, crabby.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Perverse; contentious; ugly; malicious.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Given to or marked by ill-tempered contradiction or opposition; contradictory; mulish; contentious; cross; waspish; ill-natured: as, “a cantankerous humour,”
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate
- adj. having a difficult and contrary disposition
Perhaps from Middle English contek, dissension (influenced by such words as rancorous and cankerous), from Anglo-Norman contec, possibly from Latin contāctus, past participle of contingere, to touch; see contact.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps derived from earlier contenkerous, from contentious + rancorous. (Wiktionary)