Bad-tempered or grumpy; surly


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



grumpy, surly, sour, ill-tempered


cheerful, friendly, happy

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun curmudgeon, curmudgeons
Verb None
Adjective curmudgeonly
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The curmudgeonly old man would sit on his porch, grumbling at passersby and shaking his cane.

  • Her curmudgeonly attitude made it difficult for others to connect with her, as she constantly pushed people away.

  • The curmudgeonly professor had a reputation for being harsh and dismissive towards his students.

  • Despite his curmudgeonly demeanor, deep down he had a heart of gold and cared deeply for his family.


The word “curmudgeonly” is an adjective that describes someone who is ill-tempered, grouchy, or inclined to complain. It is often used to portray an older person who is grumpy and disagreeable. While the origin of “curmudgeonly” is uncertain, it is believed to have originated from the combination of the words “cur” (meaning “an ill-tempered person”) and “mudgeon” (meaning “miser”).

The suffix “-ly” in “curmudgeonly” is added to transform the noun “curmudgeon” into an adjective, indicating the tendency or characteristic of being a curmudgeon. The root “cur” refers to someone who is surly or ill-tempered.

The usage of “curmudgeonly” typically refers to individuals who exhibit a cantankerous, irritable, or grumpy disposition. It suggests a tendency to be critical, negative, or resistant to change. Those described as curmudgeonly often resist social conventions, possess a cynical outlook, and may engage in frequent complaining or expressing dissatisfaction.

Variations of the word “curmudgeonly” include the noun form “curmudgeon,” which denotes a person with such characteristics, and the adverb form “curmudgeonly,” describing actions or behaviors that are characteristic of being a curmudgeon.

Understanding the history and usage of “curmudgeonly” reminds us to approach others with empathy and patience, recognizing that their grumpiness may stem from various factors. It also encourages us to cultivate a positive and compassionate outlook in our interactions, fostering a more harmonious and understanding environment.