pee·​vish | \ ˈpē-vish How to pronounce peevish (audio) \

Definition of peevish

1 : querulous in temperament or mood : fretful
2 : perversely (see perverse sense 2b) obstinate a peevish child
3 : marked by ill temper has a peevish, even spiteful, streak— Elizabeth Drew

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Other Words from peevish

peevishly adverb
peevishness noun

Examples of peevish in a Sentence

peevish patients in the doctor's waiting room I would rather figure things out on my own than ask that peevish librarian for help.
Recent Examples on the Web DeSantis sometimes comes across as peevish and defensive, has made a misstatement or two and was mocked for struggling to put on a mask. Fox News, "Politico says New York Gov. Cuomo's 'coronavirus halo begins to fade'," 29 May 2020 The other is the sometimes bumbling, frequently ineffective and often peevish politician who showed up Wednesday night, operating on the fly. Anchorage Daily News, "One Mike Bloomberg spent $340 million on carefully polished ads. The other Mike Bloomberg stepped onstage in Wednesday’s debate.," 21 Feb. 2020 The whole thing feels fairly peevish—that is to say, properly British. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "What Will Brexit Britain Be Like?," 31 Jan. 2020 In the end, though, God answers with a thunderous, if not peevish, rebuke. Los Angeles Times, "Behind the story: Trying to explain how one man’s faith sustained him during tragedy," 22 Oct. 2019 Once the peevish Portuguese actually arrived at Stamford Bridge, Gallas was an integral part of back-to-back title victories., "90min's Premier League Hall of Fame: Class of 2018," 31 Oct. 2019 The Bushes are famously of the Episcopal wing of Protestantism, whose origins trace back, in part, to Henry VIII’s peevish break with Rome. Matthew Cooper, Newsweek, "How the Presidential Candidates Found Their Faith," 2 Apr. 2015 In the meantime, however, there will be no shortage of conflicting diagnoses, with pockets of consensus surrounded by a few peevish second and third opinions. Justin Chang,, "What's the state of this year's wide-open Oscar race? Let's examine further.," 15 Dec. 2017 There’s a peevish tone, though, that soon seeps into the DNA of the book. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Yeah, Working for Rolling Stone Was Like That— But It Was Also Like This," 26 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peevish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of peevish

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for peevish

Middle English pevish spiteful

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Time Traveler for peevish

Time Traveler

The first known use of peevish was in the 15th century

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Statistics for peevish

Last Updated

8 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Peevish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for peevish


How to pronounce peevish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of peevish

: feeling or showing irritation


pee·​vish | \ ˈpē-vish How to pronounce peevish (audio) \

Kids Definition of peevish

: complaining a lot : irritable

Other Words from peevish

peevishly adverb
peevishness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on peevish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for peevish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with peevish

Spanish Central: Translation of peevish

Nglish: Translation of peevish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of peevish for Arabic Speakers

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