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[kwer-uh-luh s, kwer-yuh-] /ˈkwɛr ə ləs, ˈkwɛr yə-/
full of complaints; complaining.
characterized by or uttered in complaint; peevish:
a querulous tone; constant querulous reminders of things to be done.
Origin of querulous
1490-1500; < Latin querulus, equivalent to quer(ī) to complain + -ulus -ulous
Related forms
querulously, adverb
querulousness, noun
unquerulous, adjective
unquerulously, adverb
unquerulousness, noun
1, 2. petulant, testy; caviling, carping, discontented.
1. contented. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for querulous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And on his countenance there was a sour, querulous, resentful expression.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • A querulous, high-pitched voice, quavering with the palsy of extreme age.

    The Slave Of The Lamp Henry Seton Merriman
  • But the children had no awe of the gambler, and their protests were many and querulous.

  • For the moment, however, Mr. Mix was querulous rather than defensive.

    Rope Holworthy Hall
  • At this moment a querulous, broken voice comes to them from some inner room.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
  • I have also heard from James; he too, talks of success, but in a querulous strain.

    Mary Wollstonecraft Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • "I have been down to the village looking for you," he said, in a querulous tone.

    The Hand in the Dark Arthur J. Rees
  • On his face was an expression of querulous surprise as he reeled to the fall.

    The House of Pride Jack London
British Dictionary definitions for querulous


/ˈkwɛrʊləs; ˈkwɛrjʊ-/
inclined to make whining or peevish complaints
characterized by or proceeding from a complaining fretful attitude or disposition: a querulous tone
Derived Forms
querulously, adverb
querulousness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin querulus from querī to complain
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
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Word Origin and History for querulous

c.1400, from Old French querelos "quarrelsome, argumentative" and directly from Late Latin querulosus, from Latin querulus "full of complaints, complaining," from queri "to complain." Retains the original vowel of quarrel (n.1). Related: Querulously; querulousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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