Someone who's bad-tempered is cranky and surly. Your bad-tempered next door neighbor might spend the weekend yelling at kids, "Stay off of my lawn!"

Oscar the Grouch is a good example of a bad-tempered Sesame Street character. Bad-tempered people are grouchy by nature, although you can have a bad-tempered day or an unusually bad-tempered reaction to some terrible news or a visit from your least favorite cousin. Your temper is your state of mind or your mood, so to be bad-tempered is to be in a bad mood.

Definitions of bad-tempered
  1. adjective
    annoyed and irritable
    synonyms: crabbed, crabby, cross, fussy, grouchy, grumpy, ill-tempered
    having an irritable and unpleasant disposition
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