adj Mean. Arnold had an ornery bull that no one could approach. 1850s

Historical dictionary of American slang . 2014.

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  • ornery — index malicious Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • ornery — 1816, Amer.Eng. dialectal contraction of ORDINARY (Cf. ordinary). Commonplace, hence of poor quality, coarse, ugly. By c.1860 the sense had evolved to mean, cantankerous …   Etymology dictionary

  • ornery — [adj] mean cantankerous, contemptible, crabby, cranky, crusty*, difficult, disagreeable, grouchy*, grumpy*, hard nosed*, ignoble, ill tempered, irritable, nasty, obstinate, quarrelsome, rotten, sour, surly, testy, unfriendly, vicious; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • ornery — [ôr′nər ē] adj. [altered < ORDINARY] Informal 1. having an ugly or mean disposition 2. obstinate ☆ orneriness n …   English World dictionary

  • ornery — orneriness, n. /awr neuh ree/, adj., ornerier, orneriest. Dial. 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… …   Universalium

  • ornery — adjective /ˈɔːnəɹi,ˈɔːɹnɚi,ˈɔːnɹi/ a) Cantankerous, stubborn, disagreeable. “Grandpa, what’s ‘ornery’?” / “Oh, you know. Mean. Contrary. Rebellious.” b) Mischievous, prankish, teasing, disagreeable but in a good way. Curley: I aint sayin I …   Wiktionary

  • ornery — [[t]ɔ͟ː(r)nəri[/t]] ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you describe someone as ornery, you mean that they are bad tempered, difficult, and often do things that are mean. [AM, INFORMAL] The old lady was still being ornery, but at least she had consented… …   English dictionary

  • ornery — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) adj. contrary, difficult, cantankerous; irascible. See disobedience, irascibility. II (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) a. mean, nasty, ugly, irritable, feisty, surly, cranky, crabby, short tempered, *short… …   English dictionary for students

  • ornery — or|ne|ry [ˈo:nəri US ˈo:r ] adj AmE [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: ordinary] behaving in an unreasonable and often angry way, especially by doing the opposite of what people want you to do ▪ an ornery kid …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • ornery — or|ner|y [ ɔrnəri ] adjective AMERICAN OFTEN HUMOROUS quick to argue or become annoyed with people: GRUMPY: He s all right, just a bit ornery in the morning …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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