adjective, ornerier, orneriest. Dialect.
ugly and unpleasant in disposition or temper: No one can get along with my ornery cousin.
stubborn: I can't do a thing with that ornery mule.
low or vile.
inferior or common; ordinary.

1790–1800; contraction of ordinary

orneriness, noun

1. mean, ill-tempered, ill-natured, surly, testy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To ornery
World English Dictionary
ornery (ˈɔːnərɪ)
1.  stubborn or vile-tempered
2.  low; treacherous: an ornery trick
3.  ordinary
[C19: alteration of ordinary]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1816, Amer.Eng. dialectal contraction of ordinary. "Commonplace," hence "of poor quality, coarse, ugly." By c.1860 the sense had evolved to "mean, cantankerous."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Computers are ornery beasts, as many readers will no doubt concur.
And his opponents aren't being that willfully ornery about it-he is, by
  attacking them and refusing to stop misrepresenting them.
But beneath the seductive skin live ornery lizard-beings with superhuman
  strength and speed.
But nobody else would have persisted and been as ornery as she was about
  getting it done.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature