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petulant

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adjective pet·u·lant \ˈpe-chə-lənt\

Simple Definition of petulant

  • : having or showing the attitude of people who become angry and annoyed when they do not get what they want

Full Definition of petulant

  1. 1 :  insolent or rude in speech or behavior

  2. 2 :  characterized by temporary or capricious ill humor :  peevish

pet·u·lant·ly adverb

Examples of petulant

  1. Oxford's denial of her [Margaret Thatcher's] honorary degree in 1984 was no petulant fluke but an accurate measure of her unpopularity with the whole profession. —Harold Perkin, Times Literary Supplement, 26 June 1992

  2. In the hot, petulant little cockpit she was triumphant—drunk with anger, defiance, and the beginnings of relief. —Sebastian Faulks, Independent on Sunday (London), 25 Nov. 1990

  3. Sometimes, under … rapid-fire questioning, he became petulant and quibbled over words in a way that suggested a close reading of the law. —Frances FitzGerald, New Yorker, 16 Oct. 1989

  4. Mouth petulant but its hardness in it, behind it. Looking at that mouth you felt her teeth in you … —Jayne Anne Phillips, Black Tickets, (1975) 1979

  5. Her tone was petulant and angry.

  6. <a petulant and fussy man who is always blaming everyone else for his problems>



Origin of petulant

Latin or Middle French; Middle French, from Latin petulant-, petulans; akin to Latin petere to go to, attack, seek — more at feather


First Known Use: 1598


PETULANT Defined for Kids

petulant

play
adjective pet·u·lant \ˈpe-chə-lənt\

Definition of petulant

  1. :  often in a bad mood :  cross





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