Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun a crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas

Etymologies

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

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

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

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

    Boskone Report

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

    ed abbey | an introduction & on nature « 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

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