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 In a show of petulance, UMNO has refused to declare Bersatu an official ally. The Economist, "Muhyiddin’s mess Malaysia’s shaky government dodges a no-confidence motion," 23 May 2020 Whereas Berenson spent years working for rebels in El Salvador before moving to Peru, Leo’s radicalization is improbably swift, driven in equal parts by ideology and mere petulance. Alex Cuadros, New York Times, "Step 1: Move to Peru. Step 2: Join the Marxist Struggle.," 10 Mar. 2020 Call it petulance with precision and a lot of his contemporaries can take a few pointers from him. Jon Wertheim,, "Mailbag: Roger Federer's Loss to Dimitrov is the Biggest Upset of This U.S. Open," 4 Sep. 2019 Dembélé also scored in the demolition of Julen Lopetegui's side, but his petulance at the end of the match has cost Ernesto Valverde dearly., "Barcelona Star Ousmane Dembélé to Miss El Clásico After Being Hit With Two-Game Ban," 9 Oct. 2019 The role is a wonderful showcase for Menzies, who sheds the petulance of his predecessor and brings us a Philip who is both prideful and impotent, vainglorious and deeply insecure. Kristen Baldwin,, "The Crown season 3 review: New cast, who dis?," 5 Nov. 2019 The loser was Joe Biden, who struck the odd note of petulance. J.e.f. | Washington, The Economist, "The Democratic candidates spell out their policies on climate change," 5 Sep. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for petulance

Time Traveler

The first known use of petulance was in 1535

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Statistics for petulance

Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Petulance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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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

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