petulant was our Word of the Day on 12/29/2015. Hear the podcast!
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
Do they ever: A petulant thumb sucker gets his appendages snipped off.
No question, Streep's emotional speech was delivered with tremendous dignity and made a very good point -- one proven by Trump's nasty reply: The man cast as the next president of the United States can be mean and petulant.
Keep the customer happy no matter how ridiculous or petulant the request.
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."
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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