querulous

adjective
quer·​u·​lous | \ ˈkwer-yə-ləs How to pronounce querulous (audio) , -ə-ləs also ˈkwir- \

Definition of querulous

1 : habitually complaining
2 : fretful, whining a querulous voice

Other Words from querulous

querulously adverb
querulousness noun

Did you know?

English speakers have tagged fearful whiners querulous since late medieval times. The Middle English form of the word, querelose, was an adaptation of the Latin adjective, querulus, which in turn evolved from the Latin verb queri, meaning "to complain." Queri is also an ancestor of the English words quarrel and quarrelsome, but it isn't an ancestor of the noun query (meaning "question"). No need to complain that we're being coy; we're happy to let you know that query descends from the Latin verb quaerere, meaning "to ask."

Examples of querulous in a Sentence

car trips that were frequently spoiled by a couple of querulous passengers in the back
Recent Examples on the Web Today those late, querulous paintings are counted among the most influential American artworks of the twentieth century. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, 14 Jan. 2021 Today those late, querulous paintings are counted among the most influential American artworks of the twentieth century. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, 14 Jan. 2021 But were senior party figures to try this, Mr. Johnson might threaten to call a snap general election, preferring his chances of winning a contest among voters to one among his querulous lawmakers. New York Times, 7 June 2022 Today those late, querulous paintings are counted among the most influential American artworks of the twentieth century. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, 14 Jan. 2021 But with her voice querulous rather than grounded, Adams appears weightless. David Benedict, Variety, 1 June 2022 Today those late, querulous paintings are counted among the most influential American artworks of the twentieth century. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, 14 Jan. 2021 Pendleton plays a querulous council member named Mr. Oldfield. Henry Alford, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 Today those late, querulous paintings are counted among the most influential American artworks of the twentieth century. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, 14 Jan. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'querulous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of querulous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for querulous

Middle English querelose, from Latin querulus, from queri to complain

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Time Traveler for querulous

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The first known use of querulous was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near querulous

querulist

querulous

query

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Querulous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/querulous. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for querulous

querulous

adjective
quer·​u·​lous | \ ˈkwer-yə-ləs How to pronounce querulous (audio) , -ə-ləs \

Kids Definition of querulous

: having or showing a complaining attitude a querulous voice

More from Merriam-Webster on querulous

Nglish: Translation of querulous for Spanish Speakers

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