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

  • adj. Having a disagreeable, irritable, or malevolent disposition.
  • adj. Spiteful; nasty: an ill-natured retort.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. bad-tempered, irritable or malevolent

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of habitual bad temper; having an unpleasant disposition; surly; disagreeable; cross; peevish; fractious; crabbed; -- of people. Opposite of good-natured.
  • adj. Dictated by, or indicating, ill nature; spiteful.
  • adj. Intractable; not yielding to culture.
  • adj. not to one's liking; unpleasant; disagreeable. Opposite of agreeable.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having a bad nature or character.
  • Having a bad temper; churlish; crabbed; surly; spiteful: as, an ill-natured person.
  • Indicating ill nature.
  • Of uncertain temper; petulant; peevish; intractable.

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

  • adj. having an irritable and unpleasant disposition


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • You may think me ill-natured, but if you consider how hard it is to swallow an injury done by a person for whom I have such tenderness, you may begin to understand my distress.

    Exit the Actress

  • Bailey has made this ill-natured drama look as if it has a heart.

    The Taming of the Shrew; The Trial of Ubu; Our New Girl – review

  • Some ill-natured folks might think that my thesis was undermined by the contests for 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and (until recently) 2011.

    Stromata Blog:

  • The brethren of the aggiornamentist - brotherly-love persuasion have once again shown themselves to be thoroughly ill-natured and petty.

    Solemn High Traditional Mass at St Peter's Basilica - the First in 40 Years

  • Some have followed the ongoing line of ill-natured attack intending more to be argumentative than contributory to a dialogue.

    Russell Bishop: What We Need Are A Few Good Cynics

  • “A noisy and ill-natured wrangling, about the designs of the framers or opposers of the constitution, can answer no other purpose than to injure or disgrace us.”

    Robert Morris

  • Well, one swallow don't make a summer, or one ill-natured agitator a revolt - no doubt what I'm telling you now about barrack-room discontent among the sepoys looks strong evidence of trouble brewing, but it didn't seem so bad then.


  • I have thought sometimes that it was the disposition of her child which weighed upon her mind, for I have never met so utterly spoiled and so ill-natured a little creature.

    Sole Music

  • Stevens marched 'em up and down for an hour, while I watched from the veranda (chiefs of staff don't drill, you see), and a more ill-natured parade I never saw.


  • Muslims celebrate Ramadan by refraining from eating, drinking, sexual conduct, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured, from dawn to dusk.

    Jamal Dajani: How the Grinch Stole Ramadan


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