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 Dictionary entry overview: What does cantankerous mean? 

CANTANKEROUS (adjective)
  The adjective CANTANKEROUS has 2 senses:

1. stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate
2. having a difficult and contrary disposition

  Familiarity information: CANTANKEROUS used as an adjective is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 

CANTANKEROUS (adjective)

Sense 1cantankerous [BACK TO TOP]


Stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate


bloody-minded; cantankerous

Context example:

unions...have never been as bloody-minded about demarcation as the shipbuilders


obstinate; stubborn; unregenerate (tenaciously unwilling or marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield)

Domain region:

Britain; GB; Great Britain; U.K.; UK; United Kingdom; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland)

Sense 2cantankerous [BACK TO TOP]


Having a difficult and contrary disposition


crotchety; ornery; cantankerous

Context example:

a cantankerous and venomous-tongued old lady


ill-natured (having an irritable and unpleasant disposition)

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