peevish

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 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. SI.com, "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, latimes.com, "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 The famously peevish ex-Chicago Cubs manager Leo Durocher was careful to keep an extra set of front teeth in his pocket in case someone took particular umbrage at his taunts. Tom Saler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tom Saler: Damage from trade fight would be more than cosmetic," 29 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of peevish

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for peevish

Middle English pevish spiteful

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about peevish

Time Traveler for peevish

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for peevish

Cite this Entry

“Peevish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peevish. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for peevish

peevish

adjective
How to pronounce peevish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of peevish

: feeling or showing irritation

peevish

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on peevish

What made you want to look up peevish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!