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

The problem is not that young people lean liberal, but that freedom of speech is being sacrificed in favor of whining, foolish petulance. Sahil Handa, National Review, "What Conservatives Get Wrong about the Campus Wars," 4 July 2019 That playoff run has taken on almost chimerical stature among Parishioners of the Parquet eager to shed Irving and his petulance and impetuousness. Globe Staff,, "All of a sudden, the Celtics are hitting the reset button," 17 June 2019 The current president did none of these things, and the tech industry is an important segment of the global business community that may well pay a price for the president’s petulance. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Time for Trump to Change His Trade Tactics," 10 June 2019 Pundits on the left are fond of reminding us of how Trump storms and fulminates, the White House itself unable to contain his petulance and rage. Fred Turner, Harper's magazine, "Machine Politics," 10 Jan. 2019 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

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

15 Jul 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

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