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
Williams responds with a petulant, sarcastic laugh.
The production is also about the more lighthearted aspects of parenting petulant, impetuous children (which is to say, most children, to some extent), and about the way the bonds of family are somehow both innately enduring and tenuous.
Petulant outbursts are not always detrimental to tennis players' legacies.
Gru and Dru bicker but find common cause when Bratt — a petulant, mulleted former 1980s TV child star — leads a giant robot of himself and an army of malevolent flying action figures on an invasion of Hollywood.
This fourth and final season deals with the fact that petulant brat Zach (Max Charles) set off a nuclear bomb in Manhattan at the end of Season 3.
Trump is less the strict father than the petulant child: a boyish figure who rejects advice, shirks discipline and refuses to be beholden to behavioral norms.
Trump’s caustic calls on fellow NATO leaders to devote more money to defense spending, on the grounds that the United States has carried an unfair burden, sounded less like a rallying cry to some of his colleagues than a petulant display of hubris.
A new report from Der Spiegel claims that Trump's display in a closed-door meeting with world leaders was a petulant child who chose recalcitrance and tempter tantrums over listening to anyone.
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
Seen and Heard
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