Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An ill-tempered person full of resentment and stubborn notions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A miser.
  • n. An ill-tempered (and frequently old) person full of stubborn ideas or opinions.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An avaricious, grasping fellow; a miser; a niggard; a churl.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An avaricious, churlish fellow; a miser; a niggard; a churl.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
While numerous folk etymologies surround this word, there is no widely accepted etymology. An alternative spelling attested in 1600 is cornmudgin, in Holland's translation of Livy, rendering frumentarius "corn-merchant". This has been suggested as the original form of the word, but OED notes that curmudgeon is attested some years before this, concluding that cornmudgin was merely a nonce-word by Holland. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Hawkowl, I would gladly accede to the label curmudgeon, but I'll never be a snarkling, and I don't do groveling.

    Miss Snark resembles a Shar-pei

  • Apparently I'm just a title curmudgeon this morning :

    Strong Women Characters

  • This image of Bloom as traditionalist curmudgeon is considerably at odds with the impression one might have gotten from his critical writings of the 1970s and 1980s, in which Bloom advances his own intricate (if ultimately rather private, even hermetic) theory of literary production and reception that does indeed focus on poetic greatness but hardly defends tradition for tradition's sake.

    Principles of Literary Criticism

  • But the important thing for this jaded curmudgeon is that I am no longer an Art Show virgin.

    Boskone Report

  • Nowadays, curmudgeon is likely to refer to anyone who hates hypocrisy, cant, sham, dogmatic ideologies, the pretenses and evasions of euphemism, and has the nerve to point out unpleasant facts and takes the trouble to impale these sins on the skewer of humor and roast them over the fires of empiric fact, common sense, and native intelligence.

    April « 2008 « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

  • The chief and best-known one is the explanation of the word curmudgeon -- "from the French coeur, unknown, and mechant, a correspondent."

    Literary Blunders; A chapter in the "History of Human Error"

  • Whiteside, who gives new meaning to the word curmudgeon, takes over the living room and all sorts of celebrities show up to wish the famous man a joyful holiday.

    BroadwayWorld.com St. Petersburg Stories

  • Geri - not to detract from this overall thread - but please continue to post wherever you feel your comment needs to go - do not be deterred by one "curmudgeon" - I for one miss you posts. jerezano

    Very Interesting Population Article

  • As for chatty passenger/neighbors, my experience as professional grump and curmudgeon is never get started with such folks in the pro-flight phase because if you do, they don’t let up and they are led to believe that you actually want to talk and find them engaging — as if if they are doing you a favor by keeping you busy and informed about their life.

    Travelogue: the flight. « A Bird’s Nest

  • So I guess my take on love and the curmudgeon is the further out from my heart you are the nicer I am to you ... in fact if I am sickeningly sweet, you can assume I don't like you at all.

    Dr. Judith Rich: How to Love A Curmudgeon

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Comments

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  • http://goo.gl/IWnUJ (Sir David Lyndesay's works). Ed. by F. Hall (J.A.H. Murray). c. 1594
    this is an old word

    January 19, 2013

  • The origin of the word is unknown, but it might come from an old Scottish word that meant “murmur” or “mumble,” or from the French coeur mechant, “evil heart.” The archaic definition made it a synonym for miser, and the word has had recent currency in a somewhat milder connotation, to describe a not entirely unlikable grouch.
    Jon Winokur, The Big Curmudgeon (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2007)

    June 8, 2009

  • *grumble*

    April 3, 2009

  • Curmudgeon day just isn't what it used to be.

    April 3, 2009

  • I hate curmedgeon day!

    April 3, 2009

  • Dear Mr Seamer,

    I saw today your letter of 26 February. One of the great pleasures of private life is that I need no longer be polite to nincompoops, bigots, curmudgeons and twerps who infest local government bodies and committees such as yours. In the particular case of your committee, that pleasure is acute.

    Yours sincerely … »

    February 8, 2008

  • July 18, 2007