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The word curmudgeon has been in use since the 1500s, though many find it confusing. We will examine the definition of curmudgeon, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A curmudgeon is an ill-tempered old person, usually a man. A curmudgeon is cantankerous, surly and mean. The origin of the word curmudgeon is up for debate. One theory is that it is derived from the French term cœur méchant, meaning bad-hearted. This theory is not widely accepted. Another possible origin is the word cornmudgin, meaning someone who hoards grain. While an early definition of the word curmudgeon was miser, this theory does not have much support. Most linguists believe that the word cur, meaning dog, is somehow connected to the word curmudgeon. Related words are curmudgeons and curmudgeonly.


A curmudgeon, Raiford once explained, is a person who provides the public service of observing all things and interpreting them for others. (The Charlotte Observer)

Although the word monitor may not sound like the most appealing term, as it creates imagery of a stodgy curmudgeon raising an eyebrow to make sure employees don’t step out of line, the monitoring step is not only a great way for leaders to remove roadblocks for employees, but it’s also a great time to reward small achievements, which, we all know, lead to big achievements. (Forbes Magazine)

Curmudgeons are not fans of wasted anything, including the air and time used to utter this phrase. (The Huffington Post)

I know, I know: You probably think it’s odd that a curmudgeonly reactionary and noted Imperial apologist such as myself found so much to enjoy in a character who spends all her time spouting off about equal rights and is voiced by a feminist writer and comedian. (The Longview News-Journal)