Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[ker-muhj-uh n] /kərˈmʌdʒ ən/
a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person.
1570-80; unexplained; perhaps cur- representing cur
Related forms
curmudgeonly, adjective
grouch, crank, bear, sourpuss, crosspatch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for curmudgeons
  • The staff are no longer the curmudgeons of yore, and the food is actually edible, though it will still burn a hole in your pocket.
  • That's a lot of added versatility, and should please the curmudgeons who complain about touchscreen keyboards.
  • For curmudgeons who need extra incentives to buy a hybrid car, help is on the way.
  • But he said it in such a way that an entire room of pixel-stained curmudgeons caught their breaths simultaneously.
  • curmudgeons, especially literary ones, make lively interview subjects.
  • Undoubtedly some curmudgeons will gripe that their particular kind of research doesn't fit snugly into any one of the categories.
  • Many of the skeptics are curmudgeons: old, bald, and bitter.
  • In those early years, curmudgeons did their best to rain on the parade.
British Dictionary definitions for curmudgeons


a surly or miserly person
Derived Forms
curmudgeonly, adjective
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for curmudgeons



1570s, of unknown origin; the suggestion, based on a misreading of a garbled note from Johnson, that it is from French coeur mechant "evil heart" is not taken seriously; the first syllable may be cur "dog." Liberman says the word "must have been borrowed from Gaelic (and references muigean "disagreeable person"), with variant spelling of intensive prefix ker-. Related: Curmudgeonly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for curmudgeon

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for curmudgeons

Scrabble Words With Friends