Definition of ornery in English:

ornery

Syllabification: or·ner·y
Pronunciation: /ˈôrn(ə)rē
 
/

adjective

North American informal
  • 1Bad-tempered and combative: some hogs are just mean and ornery
    More example sentences
    • Ryo was carrying a worn-out Chava on his back, and Zaila too looked tired and ornery.
    • Most afternoons, it's the two older players who bicker the most, like ornery retirees on a park bench.
    • Growling softly at the guard, pretending to be my usual, ornery self and blaming him for the shortness of chain.
    Synonyms
  • 1.1Stubborn: taking the singer’s ornery radicalism in a different direction
    More example sentences
    • Sam Cassell is ornery and stubborn but knows how to win.
    • He simply could not, however, be grateful that his father - though quite well-meaning, he was sure - was a stubborn, ornery old man that never gave up.
    • Most of us are too ornery to admit it and too stubborn to quit, so we have to find ways to pull together to survive.

Derivatives

orneriness

noun
More example sentences
  • Jerry, with rare orneriness, pointed out that Victor had never clearly explained how to navigate.
  • The shorter and colder days are causing a setting-in of impending-winter orneriness around the house.
  • Our own actions, in contrast, are influenced by familial, social, economic, historical, technological and cultural forces - not to mention sheer orneriness and whim.

Origin

early 19th century: variant of ordinary, representing a dialect pronunciation.

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