Definitions

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

  • adjective Mean-spirited, disagreeable, and contrary in disposition; cantankerous.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Ordinary; common; mean; coarse; ugly: a term of depreciation, ranging from mild disapproval to great contempt.

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

  • adjective Appalachian Cantankerous, stubborn, disagreeable.
  • adjective humorous, southern US Mischievous, prankish, teasing, disagreeable but in a good way.
  • adjective obsolete Commonplace, inferior.

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

  • adjective having a difficult and contrary disposition

Etymologies

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

[Alteration of ordinary.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Contracted or dialectal pronunciation of ordinary.

Examples

  • He especially liked the way it called the ornery cloud Fatso.

    Up In A Heaval

  • Lady Macbeth says: Wouldst thou have that Which thou call the ornery of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem,

    Kill Ten Rats

  • She says the word "ornery" more than it should be used, and when she tells her dog to get down off the couch, the word "down" has a strong, country twang to it.

    Scott Janssen: Chic-fil-A Ruined My Relationship

  • She says the word "ornery" more than it should be used, and when she tells her dog to get down off the couch, the word "down" has a strong, country twang to it.

    Scott Janssen: Chic-fil-A Ruined My Relationship

  • He turns out to be Finn Killian someone she'd met and thought "old and kind of ornery" at 21 but now finds mesmerizing.

    East Egg, Meet Southampton

  • They are kind of ornery and independent up there, too.

    Another Poll Finds Obama Leading In Historically-Red Virginia

  • Gelb, lead singer of the band Giant Sand, and Oldham, from Palace Brothers, are the kind of ornery characters that country music never seems to know what to do with.

    Cheatin' Hearts, Flannel Shirts

  • And I have two cats and they ` re kind of ornery, and they ` re able to open the back door, so ...

    CNN Transcript Dec 20, 2007

  • But he also struck me a the kind of chap who didn't suffer fools gladly - what the Americans would call an 'ornery' and 'cussed' type.

    Archive 2004-04-25

  • But he also struck me a the kind of chap who didn't suffer fools gladly - what the Americans would call an 'ornery' and 'cussed' type.

    UK Commentators

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