pet·​u·​lance | \ ˈpe-chə-lən(t)s How to pronounce petulance (audio) \

Definition of petulance

: the quality or state of being petulant : peevishness

Examples of petulance in a Sentence

I do not appreciate your petulance and eagerness to argue.
Recent Examples on the Web But a few months later, the mighty gate showed signs of petulance. Murr Brewster, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 June 2022 The song unfurls hesitantly, line by line, from petulance to acceptance—just as the experience of teenagedom, that journey to self-knowledge, evolves from uncertainty to wisdom. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 4 June 2022 Now Ina thought of Agata, Marek’s mother, of her woe and petulance. Ottessa Moshfegh, Harper’s Magazine , 25 May 2022 Denzel Washington, as Macbeth, and Frances McDormand, as Lady Macbeth, fit their performances to the movie’s narrow view of Shakespearean cinema, which reduces grandeur to petulance and poetry to decoration. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2021 One marked by tough, necessary, factual inquires befitting the scrutiny needed to vet a lifetime appointment, not marred by partisan petulance and acrimony. Roy S. Johnson |, al, 7 Apr. 2022 With increasing petulance, Germany’s Olaf Scholz has been fighting off bank and think-tank modelers suggesting a hard stop to gas imports might be manageable after all. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, 5 Apr. 2022 Its predecessor, 2018’s stellar Be the Cowboy, was more secluded and had already scrubbed away nearly all the punk sardony and petulance of Puberty 2 (2016) and Bury Me at Lookout Creek (2014). Bobby Olivier, SPIN, 31 Jan. 2022 The men are stuck with the least developed parts across the board, especially Antonio and Mateo, who both show up pouting and remain in a state of low-key petulance for two hours. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of petulance

1535, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for petulance

Time Traveler

The first known use of petulance was in 1535

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Dictionary Entries Near petulance

petty whin



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Statistics for petulance

Last Updated

3 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Petulance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for petulance


pet·​u·​lance | \ ˈpe-chə-ləns How to pronounce petulance (audio) \

Kids Definition of petulance

: an irritable temper

More from Merriam-Webster on petulance

Nglish: Translation of petulance for Spanish Speakers


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