petulant was our Word of the Day on 12/29/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of petulant in a Sentence
- Oxford's denial of her [Margaret Thatcher's] honorary degree in 1984 was no petulant fluke but an accurate measure of her unpopularity with the whole profession. —Harold Perkin, Times Literary Supplement, 26 June 1992
- In the hot, petulant little cockpit she was triumphant—drunk with anger, defiance, and the beginnings of relief. —Sebastian Faulks, Independent on Sunday (London), 25 Nov. 1990
- Sometimes, under … rapid-fire questioning, he became petulant and quibbled over words in a way that suggested a close reading of the law. —Frances FitzGerald, New Yorker, 16 Oct. 1989
- Mouth petulant but its hardness in it, behind it. Looking at that mouth you felt her teeth in you … —Jayne Anne Phillips, Black Tickets, (1975) 1979
Her tone was petulant and angry.
a petulant and fussy man who is always blaming everyone else for his problems
Recent Examples of petulant from the Web
The incident proved yet again this petulant country has forgotten how to use its inside voice and how to play well with each other.
The allegedly irresistible Baku comes across as a petulant narcissist, while Asako herself is an annoyingly passive airhead who would not pass even a basic Bechdel Test.
Does there exist anywhere a whinier, more petulant, more entitled gang of businesses than California's big utility companies?
This decision may have been partly due to the Spain striker's petulant reaction after being substituted at Turf Moor.
And lost in this debate is the simple fact that Jarrar behaved like an obnoxious, petulant child.
Daniels and Trump: Online, one of them is often lewd, petulant, brash and self-involved.
What had started as a frisky romance built of the alluring but classically patronizing male-director/female-star relationship quickly devolves into a jokey wade into a petulant, misanthropic mind.
The young boy starts acting like a petulant teenager with no appreciation for his legacy and responsibility, drawing some strong rebukes from a man who has literally killed gods.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'petulant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
petulant Has Latin Roots
Petulant is one of many English words that are related to the Latin verb petere, which means "to go to," "to attack," "to seek," or "to request." "Petere" is a relative of the Latin adjective petulans ("impudent"), from which "petulant" was derived. Some other words with connections to "petere" are "compete" and "appetite." "Competere," the Late Latin precursor to "compete," is a combination of the prefix com- and the verb "petere." The joining of ad- and petere led to "appetere" ("to strive after"), and eventually to Latin appetitus, the source of our "appetite." Additional descendants of "petere" are "petition," "perpetual," and "impetus."
choleric, crabby, cranky, cross, crotchety, fiery, grouchy, grumpy, irascible, irritable, peevish, perverse, pettish, prickly, quick-tempered, raspy, short-tempered, snappish, snappy, snippy, stuffy, testy, waspish;
out of humor, out of sorts;
PETULANT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of petulant for English Language Learners
: having or showing the attitude of people who become angry and annoyed when they do not get what they want
PETULANT Defined for Kids
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