All Words > Cantankerous

Tuesday, September 24

Cantankerous

[kan-tang-kə-rəs]

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Unknown, 18th century

1.

Contentious

2.

Uncooperative

Examples of Cantankerous in a sentence

"Our cantankerous mule has never been very cooperative, but he's only gotten worse with age."

"My grandfather was known to be cantankerous, though he did have a kind side as well."

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About Cantankerous

While mules are stereotypically believed to be stubborn and cantankerous, they're actually quite intelligent and generally cooperative. However, their intelligence gives them a long memory — so if they have a bad experience doing something, they're unlikely to do it a second time.

Did you Know?

While the origins of cantankerous can't be definitively pinpointed, one theory suggests that it started as a blend of the words contentious and rancorous.

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