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peevish

[pee-vish]
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adjective
  1. cross, querulous, or fretful, as from vexation or discontent: a peevish youngster.
  2. showing annoyance, irritation, or bad mood: a peevish reply; a peevish frown.
  3. perverse or obstinate.

Origin of peevish

1350–1400; Middle English pevysh < ?
Related formspee·vish·ly, adverbpee·vish·ness, nounun·pee·vish, adjectiveun·pee·vish·ly, adverbun·pee·vish·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. petulant, irritable, snappish. See cross.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for peevish

peevish

adjective
  1. fretful or irritablea peevish child
  2. obsolete perverse
Derived Formspeevishly, adverbpeevishness, noun

Word Origin

C14: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for peevish

adj.

late 14c., peyvesshe "perverse, capricious, silly," of uncertain origin, possibly modeled on Latin perversus "reversed, perverse," past participle of pervertere "to turn about" (see pervert (v.)). Meaning "cross, fretful" first recorded 1520s. Related: Peevishly; peevishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper