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

  • n. A peevish, irascible person; a grouch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A grumpy, bad-tempered or irascible person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An ill-natured person.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An ill-natured person.

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

  • n. a bad-tempered person


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

cross + patch, jester.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

cross (“grumpy”) +‎ patch (“fool”).


  • Don't be a fashion crosspatch, denouncing girls in shorts so short they look more like underwear than items of outdoor clothing.

    How to get stylish

  • He's a youthful crosspatch, a reedy-voiced adolescent with a gripe.

    Hamlet; Passion; Beautiful Burnout; Wanderlust

  • Our pick for walls is the Eames crosspatch combo, which comes in a pack of 20 squares. $52 at www.

    Trend Report Study in style

  • The couple with that crosspatch cat, Bathsheba, had bars on all the ground-floor and basement windows, and no fewer than three separate locks on their front door.


  • I am conscious of having been something of a crosspatch this week, so allow me to finish by applauding BBC4 for its North of England stuff.

    Trouble at the ranch as Adrian Chiles gets the jitters

  • Nancys hands were clenched into fists by her side, her mouth drawn tight as a crosspatch.

    Kate Morton Ebook Collection

  • Nobody wants to represent an argumentative crosspatch.


  • I like this word a lot, and intend to use it as a self-description when I get the chance: "Don't mind me; I'm just an old crosspatch." CROSSPATCH.

  • "Your sister is being a crosspatch, don't encourage her". CROSSPATCH.

  • A NY Times article by Charlie LeDuff taught me a new word: "The bodies are then sent to the Frye Chapel and Mortuary in Brawley and tended by Francis Frye, an 86-year-old crosspatch." CROSSPATCH.


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  • (noun) - Patch was at one time a term of contempt. It did not . . . necessarily mean a fool, but signified what we now mean by a contemptible fellow. Shakespeare has A Midsummer Night's Dream: "A crew of patches, base mechanicals." Crosspatch is the only remnant of the word. It is very expressive of a cross, ill-tempered, disagreeable person.

    --Eliezer Edwards' Dictionary of Words, Facts, and Phrases, 1882

    January 17, 2018

  • "Don't be a crosspatch, Mr. Brodie. You're a much nicer person than you pretend to be, you know."
    Kate Atkinson, Case Histories (New York: Little Brown & Co., 2004), p. 160.

    May 30, 2016

  • See comments at pilulous.

    February 12, 2016