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as in:  is ornery when he first wakes up

I avoid contact when he’s in an ornery mood.
  cranky (easily annoyed and quick to complain and argue)
 Mark word for later review on this computer
ornery orneriness
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  • I avoid contact when he’s in an ornery mood.
  • He is too ornery to celebrate his birthday.
  • I felt so ornery and low down and mean that I says to myself;  I’ll hive that money for them or bust.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • She’d had an old grandpa that was full-blooded Cherokee, one of the few that got left behind in Tennessee because he was too old or too ornery to get marched over to Oklahoma.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Bean Trees

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  • He had an orneriness year-round, but especially in the summer, when he worked his peach orchards daylight to dusk.
    Sue Monk Kidd  --  The Secret Life of Bees
  • Dally was his usual mean, ornery self.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • Solomon’s got it at sundown, and that’s the only time of day that big ox is ornery.
    Robert Newton Peck  --  A Day No Pigs Would Die
  • Then Little Tommy, looking ornery and offended, huffed over and planted his bony chest against mine.
    Victor Martinez  --  Parrot in the Oven
  • "The pain gets . ornery," he said.
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle
  • That ornery old man upstairs is very, very hurt right now and I just can’t say where he’s going to land after this news gets through blowing him around."
    Christopher Paul Curtis  --  Bud, Not Buddy

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  • Sometimes I am as ornery and stubborn as an old donkey.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • Junior spent the next day at home, but he was bored out of his mind and his father was acting ornery, so he figured maybe the next morning he would walk on down to the lumberyard and look for work.
    Anne Tayler  --  A Spool of Blue Thread
  • You shouldn’t be so ornery to people.
    Ji-Li Jiang  --  Red Scarf Girl
  • He lashed out with his wind rope, searching for strongest, most ornery ventus in the storm.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Blood of Olympus
  • "She was quite ornery," he says.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • "She’s old an’ she’s ornery," he said gravely.
    John Steinbeck  --  The Grapes of Wrath
  • And I hate to say it but Adah is just as ornery and bent on destruction, in her own slowpoke way.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • Does feed de ornery varmint!
    Zora Neale Hurston  --  Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • No indeed, the world is just as concrete, ornery, vile and sublimely wonderful as before, only now I better understand my relation to it and it to me.
    Ralph Ellison  --  Invisible Man
  • Cholly, by his habitual drunkenness and orneriness, provided them both with the material they needed to make their lives tolerable.
    Toni Morrison  --  The Bluest Eye
  • He’s that way all through lunch, and at one o’clock he’s the first one in his seat for the meeting, his eyes blue and ornery from his place in the corner.
    Ken Kesey  --  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • An ornery mule could kick just about anything to death in a matter of minutes.
    David Baldacci  --  Wish You Well
  • Blame dat man, he worries me wid dem ornery glasses o’ his’n; I b’lieve he’s a witch.
    Mark Twain  --  Pudd’nhead Wilson
  • In Mqhekezweni there wasa tribesman with an ornery old pig.
    Nelson Mandela  --  Long Walk to Freedom
  • She was a funny, ornery little thing.
    Lisa See  --  Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
  • She makes me get up just at the same time every morning; she makes me wash, they comb me all to thunder; she won’t let me sleep in the woodshed; I got to wear them blamed clothes that just smothers me, Tom; they don’t seem to any air git through ’em, somehow; and they’re so rotten nice that I can’t set down, nor lay down, nor roll around anywher’s; I hain’t slid on a cellar-door for—well, it ’pears to be years; I got to go to church and sweat and sweat—I hate them ornery sermons!
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • "But this is Nathaniel," she says, reminding me of his humility and the gentle soul that hides behind a sometimes ornery twin.
    Steve Lopez  --  The Soloist
  • I called Bill Cooke, our free-lance photographer and my friend, but an ornery man even on his best days.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin’
  • She didn’t soften things in the poolroom, or put a limit, like a British barmaid or bistro proprietress; here things were too harsh and ornery to be influenced; the clamor and fights and the obscene yelling and banging weren’t going to stop, and didn’t stop.
    Saul Bellow  --  The Adventures of Augie March
  • That was pride, and it was ornery.
    J.D. Robb  --  Glory in Death
  • But I was nineteen and ornery.
    Alice Sebold  --  Lucky
  • Amma was our housekeeper, more like my grandmother, except she was smarter and more ornery than my real grandmother.
    Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl  --  Beautiful Creatures
  • But Simeon got very ornery when I said I was heading home, and he refused to give me the money he’d promised for my plane fare.
    Gloria Naylor  --  The Women of Brewster Place
  • He wasn’t a huge shark, but what he lacked in size he made up for in pure orneriness.
    Chris Kyle  --  American Sniper
  • In the pre-computer age, machines were laid out in long rows, each machine tended constantly by one worker who was considered skilled if he knew the temperament of his one, ornery ward.
    Adam Davidson  --  Making It in America
  • You have to keep the girls well and as happy as possible, and some of them can get pretty ornery.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • ""I promise," Mortenson said, through the knot of grief that had formed in his throat for this ornery old man, this contrarian who had for some reason chosen to fasten his hopes on the unlikeliest of heroes—him.
    Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin  --  Three Cups of Tea
  • "And he had a little small bull-pup, that to look at him you’d think he warn’t worth a cent but to set around and look ornery and lay for a chance to steal something.
    Mark Twain  --  The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
  • "We were just being ornery," I say slowly, hoping to avoid alienating my future wife, "but you were on a free ride.
    Chris Crutcher  --  Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
  • He had only one horn and one eye, and Po Campo’s sewing job was somewhat uneven, the folds of skin having separated in two or three places—but the bull was ornery as ever, bellowing at the cowboys when they came too close.
    Larry McMurtry  --  Lonesome Dove
  • Those raccoons were ornery and audacious; I must’ve shot twenty of them before they finally got the message that they weren’t welcome under my house.
    Chris Kyle  --  American Sniper
  • Mickey Mouse was a dark-gold buckskin, sassy and ornery, not much more than a colt.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • I was being particularly ornery.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • "I’ve got me a ornery pony," Soda’d tell him, rubbing his neck.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • En you speck I could see him turned out po’ and ornery on de worl’ en never care noth’n’
    Mark Twain  --  Pudd’nhead Wilson
  • Your grandmother was the wildest, most untamed; most ornery and beautiful creature ever to grace this earth.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • I was feeling so completely ornery.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • It would have been perfect except for that ornery crow calling away: car-car-car.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • I thought it all out, and reckoned I would belong to the widow’s if he wanted me, though I couldn’t make out how he was a-going to be any better off then than what he was before, seeing I was so ignorant, and so kind of low-down and ornery.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The town’s police officers seldom bothered the ornery old man, mainly because arresting him would would have left them not only with an unmanned horse and wagon but Bobby himself, and everyone with even a lick of sense knew Bobby would cut you as soon as look at you.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin’
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Associated words [difficulty]:   ornery [3]
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