Definition of curmudgeon in US English:



  • A bad-tempered person, especially an old one.

    • ‘Then of course there are curmudgeons like me who think it's a waste of time to invent something that helps nincompoops organize their recipes, play solitaire, or set a trap for a wireless mouse.’
    • ‘True, a few Cancerians pretend they're curmudgeons; but even you'll realise life is easier - and more fun - if you wear your heart on your sleeve.’
    • ‘With a down-home Cork folksiness that frequently irritates, he addresses himself as though to an audience of elderly curmudgeons, pooh-poohing the antics and excesses of the younger generation.’
    • ‘After all, they have come to expect intelligent and sensitive cultural commentary from this site; not the lager-fuelled ravings of an embittered curmudgeon.’
    • ‘What is it about the ageing process that turns us into moaning curmudgeons who think everything is going to pot?’
    • ‘Again I find myself wearing the cloak of the curmudgeon.’
    • ‘Only the worst curmudgeon could dislike this site.’
    • ‘This is not good for anybody, except for a few curmudgeons and people who are embittered by nothing more than their own embitteredness.’
    • ‘Aside from regular updates from the future, the curmudgeon began his blogging career with a series of planetary profiles packed with references that are both esoteric and Aesopian.’
    • ‘I haven't finished the book yet (she is fifteen) but my overall impression is of a changeable curmudgeon but not a monster.’
    • ‘He is a bit of a curmudgeon who changes his mind all the time, but he is still likable.’
    • ‘Something in me wants to tell all these kids to go back to school and get a proper education - but I don't, of course, because I don't want to sound like an old curmudgeon.’
    • ‘I am an enemy of progress and a mean-spirited curmudgeon.’
    • ‘And you dare not write off people who pen moaning letters to parish newsletters or local papers as cantankerous curmudgeons.’
    • ‘Most self-described curmudgeons would probably go along with that, though with the addendum that their resentments and stubborn notions are, to some degree, justified by a brutish, venal world.’
    • ‘As we near the term's end, there remains one embarrassing element in Canadian politics that sticks out like a sore thumb - a collection of grumpy curmudgeons who care only about scoring cheap political points.’
    • ‘We don't want householders to feel like curmudgeons which is why the posters wish callers an enjoyable night.’
    • ‘These aren't just the mutterings of an old curmudgeon.’
    • ‘The brothers delighted in their new-found reputation as the British film industry's curmudgeons.’
    • ‘As we approach the announcement of the winner of the award it seems like the perfect time to celebrate some of the curmudgeons and grumps that (for whatever reason) decided not to play…’
    bad-tempered person
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: of unknown origin.