Part of speech: adjective
Origin: Unknown, 18th century
Examples of Cantankerous in a sentence
"Our cantankerous mule has never been very cooperative, but he's only gotten worse with age."
"My grandfather was known to be cantankerous, though he did have a kind side as well."
While mules are stereotypically believed to be stubborn and cantankerous, they're actually quite intelligent and generally cooperative. However, their intelligence gives them a long memory — so if they have a bad experience doing something, they're unlikely to do it a second time.
Did you Know?
While the origins of cantankerous can't be definitively pinpointed, one theory suggests that it started as a blend of the words contentious and rancorous.