Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[pech-uh-luh ns] /ˈpɛtʃ ə ləns/
the state or quality of being petulant.
a petulant speech or action.
Origin of petulance
First recorded in 1600-10, petulance is from the Latin word petulantia impudence. See petulant, -ance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for petulance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I think your mistress has been in bad spirits lately," he resumed, with a sudden outbreak of petulance.

    No Name Wilkie Collins
  • "I—don't—like—Redding," broke out Mary in a burst of petulance.

    Nine Little Goslings Susan Coolidge
  • The prayer is a silly piece of petulance and it would have served the maker of it right to have had it granted.

  • There was petulance in his inflection when he spoke again: "I have you, and I have my business."

    Making People Happy Thompson Buchanan
  • He was often guided by petulance and passion; seldom or never by sober judgment.

  • And I turned and walked away from him with an air of petulance.

    The Pirate Slaver Harry Collingwood
Word Origin and History for petulance

c.1600, "insolence, immodesty," from French pétulance (early 16c.), from Latin petulantia "sauciness, impudence," noun of quality from petulantem (see petulant). Meaning "peevishness" is recorded from 1784, from influence of pettish, etc. It displaced earlier petulancy (1550s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for petulance

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for petulance

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for petulance