Word of the Day : April 27, 2018

querulous

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adjective KWAIR-yuh-lus

Definition

1 : habitually complaining

2 : fretful, whining

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

"… the punch of her performance lies in its sheer nerve; even though her character has our sympathy from the start, she keeps asking for more, tugging at us like a querulous child until our patience cracks." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 24 July 2017

"And while ordinarily, he was not one who was inclined to be querulous, still now on occasion, he could be. He began by asking questions concerning his wife's appearance—irritating little whys which are so trivial and yet so exasperating and discouraging to a woman." — Theodore Dreiser, The Financier, 1912



Name That Synonym

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