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

Definition of petulance

: the quality or state of being petulant : peevishness

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Examples of petulance in a Sentence

I do not appreciate your petulance and eagerness to argue.

Recent Examples on the Web

Harry absolutely hates being the subject of speculation, and this just shows his petulance to the media . . . Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Reportedly "Felt Sorry" for Kate Middleton After Her Post-Birth Photo Calls," 28 Apr. 2019 Anne, in poor health and perpetual petulance, is fussed over and not-so-subtly controlled by Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), a court noblewoman who’s learned that pleasing the queen (in every way) brings its own pleasures. Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times, "‘The Favourite’ review: an irresistibly nasty tale of lust, power and pet bunnies," 4 Dec. 2018 And if the candidate reacted with petulance, outrage, bluster and evasion during the interview, even if innocent, his (or her) fitness for such an important and stressful position would be even further questionable. WSJ, "The Continuing Saga of Judge Kavanaugh," 2 Oct. 2018 Playtime with her young cousin Anna (Paula Robles) sometimes turns casually cruel, inquisitiveness giving way to selfishness and petulance. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "'Summer 1993' sees the world through the eyes of a child," 14 June 2018 There was a general petulance to his display, and that is a major concern for Brazil. Jonathan Wilson,, "Brazil Secures Its Win, but Neymar's Actions Remain a Lightning Rod," 22 June 2018 Not content with that act of petulance, its leaders have also requested the plaques of Tom and Jean Yawkey that hang inside Fenway Park. Adrian Walker,, "What comes next after the renaming of Yawkey Way?," 6 May 2018 There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance, genuine frustration and petulance and, lastly, passing ability versus quarterbacking ability. azcentral, "NFL power rankings after NFL draft: Not much hope for Arizona Cardinals in 2018 season?," 2 May 2018 And there’s indeed a petulance, and an inside-jokiness, to the Voidz’s experimental world, as well as to White’s. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Zanily Aging Rock Stars of the Aughts," 2 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of petulance

1535, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for petulance

Last Updated

6 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for petulance

The first known use of petulance was in 1535

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on petulance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for petulance

Spanish Central: Translation of petulance

Nglish: Translation of petulance for Spanish Speakers

Comments on petulance

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


one that collects or salvages junk

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