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ornery

used in a sentence
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Definition quick to get annoyed, complain, argue, and be uncooperative

Much more rarely (and seldom any more), ornery can describe someone as "low down", coarse, or unrefined. Mark Twain often used the word in that manner as in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn where he wrote: "The other fellow was about thirty, and dressed about as ornery." and "The more I studied about this the more my conscience went to grinding me, and the more wicked and low-down and ornery I got to feeling."
  • I avoid contact when he's in an ornery mood.
ornery = cranky (easily annoyed and quick to complain and argue)
  • He is too ornery to celebrate his birthday.
  • ornery = bad-tempered
  • Dally was his usual mean, ornery self.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • ornery = ill-tempered (and so difficult to control)
  • Whenever anyone tried to console me about my mother, I had nearly chomped their heads off. I was a complete ornery old donkey. When my father would say, "You must feel terrible," I denied it. "I don't," I told him. "I don't feel anything at all." But I did feel terrible.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • ornery = quick to get annoyed, complain, argue, and be uncooperative
  • 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
  • ornery = easily annoyed and quick to complain and argue
  • Then Little Tommy, looking ornery and offended, huffed over and planted his bony chest against mine.
    Victor Martinez  --  Parrot in the Oven
  • ornery = easily annoyed and quick to complain and argue
  • 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
  • orneriness = crankiness (easily annoyed and quick to complain and argue)
    (Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
  • 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
  • ornery = cranky
  • They were not taking us seriously, and I felt my ornery donkey self waking up.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • ornery = quick to get annoyed, complain, argue, and be uncooperative
  • I apologized for being ornery and for upsetting him.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • ornery = quick to get annoyed, complain, argue, and be uncooperative
  • Gram was released from the hospital the next morning mainly because she was so ornery.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • ornery = quick to get annoyed, complain, argue, and be uncooperative
  •   "I want to tell you something about Margaret," he said.
      "Well, I don't want to hear it." I was feeling so completely ornery.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • ornery = annoyed and uncooperative
  • Your grandmother was the wildest, most untamed; most ornery and beautiful creature ever to grace this earth.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • ornery = quick to get annoyed, complain, argue, and be uncooperative
  • Mickey Mouse was a dark-gold buckskin, sassy and ornery, not much more than a colt.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • ornery = ill-tempered (and so difficult to control)
  • "I've got me a ornery pony," Soda'd tell him, rubbing his neck.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • ornery = ill-tempered (and so difficult to control)
  • I was being particularly ornery. I wouldn't sit down and I wouldn't look at Margaret.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • ornery = annoyed and uncooperative
  • Sometimes I am as ornery and stubborn as an old donkey.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • ornery = annoyed and uncooperative
  • 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
  • ornery = easily annoyed and quick to complain and argue
  • It would have been perfect except for that ornery crow calling away: car-car-car.
    Sharon Creech  --  Walk Two Moons
  • ornery = uncooperative and complaining
  • 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

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