Definition of churl in English:



  • 1A rude and mean-spirited person.

    ‘this trio are used whenever some churl wants to have a pop at progressive rock’
    • ‘The nation's professional churl had finally been forced to button his lip.’
    • ‘I tell the bar girl to fetch him the good stuff from the small casks, not the maroon vinegar we serve the churls, then sit next to him.’
    • ‘Dalglish, throughout, behaved admirably and only churls later questioned his decision to quit Anfield.’
    • ‘She proudly talked of herself as the one who set the bones in his nose, and said she had been waiting to see what churl hurt him without reason.’
    • ‘The first thing he did was holler, ‘Quiet down you churls!’’
    • ‘Only a churl would deny anyone the consolation of hope.’
    • ‘I jarred him awake and made my apologies to her before dragging the very intoxicated churl into his room.’
    • ‘It is, in fact, an exceptionally charming story, and even hard-hearted churls will find themselves smiling with beatific indulgence by the end of it.’
    • ‘He regularly behaves like a churl with the media and elicits mixed feelings inside his own clubhouse.’
    • ‘‘Only a churl would deny anyone the consolation of hope,’ writes Philip Kennicott in The Washington Post.’
    • ‘It is one of the great unsolved contradictions in life that a people so universally helpful, friendly and cheerful should turn into churls when at the wheel of a tractor.’
    • ‘Fans of studio politics everywhere understand that while Harvey's a boor, Bob is merely churlish, and boors hardly ever stand down for churls.’
    • ‘I hated him before, but now the miserable churl only has my most profound pity!’
    • ‘Only a churl would wish to detract from the inspired performances of competitors in cycling, swimming and gymnastics.’
    • ‘He seems to delight in being a churl, but his disrespectful comments about Babe Ruth demonstrated his ignorance of baseball history.’
    • ‘Only a churl would refuse to acknowledge the president's success in crafting national unity out of catastrophe, and even liberals have been obliged to pay tribute.’
    lout, boor, barbarian, neanderthal, clown, gawk, hulk, bumpkin, yokel
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    1. 1.1archaic A miser.
      • ‘When a few words will rescue misery out of her distress, I hate the man who can be a churl of them.’
      • ‘Is he a classless churl or an American standard bearer?’
  • 2archaic A peasant.

    • ‘The good yeomen and thespians who put on the River City Shakespeare Festival are in need of a few knaves, churls, gentlemen and gentlewomen to volunteer as well.’
    • ‘Not since the days when a churl suffered extravagant penalties for offending a Norman lord have we seen such disparities of treatment within our justice system.’
    • ‘If I may, Lord, who is the churl you drag with you?’
    farmer, farmhand, country dweller, country cousin, son of the soil
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Old English ceorl, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch kerel and German Kerl ‘fellow’, also to carl.