- cross, querulous, or fretful, as from vexation or discontent: a peevish youngster.
- showing annoyance, irritation, or bad mood: a peevish reply; a peevish frown.
- perverse or obstinate.
Origin of peevish
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for peevishness
His mind was palsied with his body; its utmost energy was peevishness.Edward Fane's Rosebud (From "Twice Told Tales")
He had lost his peevishness, and could hide his indifference to people and his interest in food.Howards End
E. M. Forster
Under no circumstances is peevishness or passion justifiable.A Book for All Readers
Ainsworth Rand Spofford
The lines of his mouth betrayed selfishness and peevishness.The Winning Clue
James Hay, Jr.
His face was perhaps too much inflamed, and there was about him a look almost of peevishness.Sons and Lovers
David Herbert Lawrence
- fretful or irritablea peevish child
- obsolete perverse
Word Origin and History for peevishness
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.