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
Most of the criticism leveled at Finn Jones’s oft-petulant boy billionaire is incorporated into the show via Luke, who treats Danny to dressing downs and occasional physical face-offs that for viewers are likely cathartic.
But that defiant pose turned into a petulant pout two minutes later when Ronaldo was booked again for diving in the area following contact with Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti.
His over-the-top performance is a blend of a petulant child and Kim Jong-Un, with haircut to match.
Nell got to see me as a daughter—witnessing flashes of my grumpy and petulant teenage self, or my mother brushing loose strands of hair out of my face.
Your friend’s request was selfish, and her response to your (very kind!) offer to help plan her wedding without going into debt over it has been petulant and childish in the extreme.
That was the same year Hingis turned petulant during a dramatic French Open final loss to Steffi Graf, angering the volatile Paris crowd and Graf by violating tennis protocol and crossing the net to examine a ball mark in Graf’s half of the court.
Weinstein’s own version tellingly vacillates in tone from the penitent to the petulant.
Trump has an incredibly ability, one more typically found in petulant toddlers whose brains have not developed enough to take others into account, to make just about anything about him.
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."
Synonymscholeric, crabby, cranky, cross, crotchety, fiery, grouchy, grumpy, irascible, peevish, perverse, pettish, irritable, prickly, quick-tempered, raspy, ratty, short-tempered, snappish, snappy, snarky, snippety, snippy, stuffy, testy, waspish
Related Wordsbearish, bilious, cantankerous, cross-grained, curmudgeonly, disagreeable, dyspeptic, ill-humored, ill-natured, ill-tempered, off-color (or off-colored), ornery, querulous, snarly, surly; argumentative, bellicose, belligerent, combative, contentious, disputatious, fractious, fretful, pugnacious, quarrelsome, scrappy, truculent; huffy, pouty, sensitive, short, sulky, sullen, tetchy, thin-skinned, touchy; hot-blooded, passionate
Near Antonymsaffable, companionable, cordial, extroverted (also extraverted), friendly, genial, gregarious, outgoing, sociable; agreeable, amiable, good-natured, good-tempered, sweet, well-disposed; carefree, easygoing, happy-go-lucky, relaxed; forbearing, long-suffering, obliging, patient, stoic (or stoical), tolerant, uncomplaining, understanding
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