Someone who's ill-natured is cranky and disagreeable. Most fairy tales have at least one ill-natured antagonist, an evil stepmother or a ferocious ogre.

Mean and nasty people are sometimes just plain ill-natured — it's not in their nature to be generous and cheerful. Your ill-natured cat probably scratches anyone who tries to pet her. Bad kitty. This unfriendly adjective combines ill-, "badly" or "not well," with natured, from nature and its "innate disposition" meaning. The Latin root is natura, "natural character or quality."

Definitions of ill-natured
  1. adjective
    having an irritable and unpleasant disposition
    atrabilious, bilious, dyspeptic, liverish
    irritable as if suffering from indigestion
    bristly, prickly, splenetic, waspish
    very irritable
    cantankerous, crotchety, ornery
    having a difficult and contrary disposition
    choleric, hot-tempered, hotheaded, irascible, quick-tempered, short-tempered
    quickly aroused to anger
    having a bad disposition; surly
    bad-tempered, crabbed, crabby, cross, fussy, grouchy, grumpy, ill-tempered
    annoyed and irritable
    cranky, fractious, irritable, nettlesome, peckish, peevish, pettish, petulant, scratchy, snarky, techy, testy, tetchy
    easily irritated or annoyed
    crusty, curmudgeonly, gruff, ill-humored, ill-humoured
    brusque and surly and forbidding
    resembling a cur; snarling and rude
    dark, dour, glowering, glum, moody, morose, saturnine, sour, sullen
    showing a brooding ill humor
    unpleasant to interact with
    huffish, sulky
    sullen or moody
    misanthropic, misanthropical
    hating mankind in general
    misogynistic, misogynous
    hating women in particular
    shirty, snorty
    (British informal) ill-tempered or annoyed
    nagging, shrewish, termagant
    continually complaining or faultfinding
    snappish, snappy
    apt to speak irritably
    spoiled, spoilt
    having the character or disposition harmed by pampering or oversolicitous attention
    surly, ugly
    inclined to anger or bad feelings with overtones of menace
    vinegarish, vinegary
    having a sour disposition; ill-tempered
    disagreeable to the senses, to the mind, or feelings
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    having an easygoing and cheerful disposition
    conforming to one's own liking or feelings or nature
    amiable, good-humored, good-humoured
    disposed to please
    equable, even-tempered, good-tempered, placid
    not easily irritated
    having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature; used especially of persons and their behavior
    affording pleasure; being in harmony with your taste or likings
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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘ill-natured'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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