adjective pet·u·lant \ˈpe-chə-lənt\

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

Full Definition of PETULANT

:  insolent or rude in speech or behavior
:  characterized by temporary or capricious ill humor :  peevish
pet·u·lant·ly adverb

Examples of PETULANT

  1. Her tone was petulant and angry.
  2. <a petulant and fussy man who is always blaming everyone else for his problems>
  3. 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

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


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