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ornery

[awr-nuh-ree] /ˈɔr nə ri/
adjective, ornerier, orneriest. Dialect
1.
ugly and unpleasant in disposition or temper:
No one can get along with my ornery cousin.
2.
stubborn:
I can't do a thing with that ornery mule.
3.
low or vile.
4.
inferior or common; ordinary.
Origin of ornery
1790-1800
1790-1800; contraction of ordinary
Related forms
orneriness, noun
Synonyms
1. mean, ill-tempered, ill-natured, surly, testy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ornery
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The jail was a ornery edifiss, but the table was librally surplied with Bakin an Cabbidge.

    The Complete Works of Artemus Ward Charles Farrar Browne (AKA Artemus Ward)
  • To 'n ornery gentleman—of the road or what you will—I'm not, if so be he's the necessary.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • Sometimes, I wish I could live my life over with "ornery" in my vocabulary.

  • They're little an' young an' they ain't never done nothin' ornery.

    The Gold Girl James B. Hendryx
  • One cowboy is jest about as ornery an' no 'count as the other—and whisky gits 'em all.

    Bat Wing Bowles Dane Coolidge
British Dictionary definitions for ornery

ornery

/ˈɔːnərɪ/
adjective (US & Canadian, dialect or informal)
1.
stubborn or vile-tempered
2.
low; treacherous: an ornery trick
3.
ordinary
Derived Forms
orneriness, noun
Word Origin
C19: alteration of ordinary
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
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Word Origin and History for ornery
adj.

1816, American English dialectal contraction of ordinary (adj.). "Commonplace," hence "of poor quality, coarse, ugly." By c.1860 the sense had evolved to "mean, cantankerous." Related: Orneriness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ornery

ornery

adjective

Mean and irascible; ill-tempered: He wasconfident and ornery on the mound

[1816+; fr a dialect pronunciation of ordinary]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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9
9
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