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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 querulously
Historical Examples
  • "I—I don't think it interests me much," he said querulously.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • "Let me up," he said querulously, and began to wipe his face.

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • He whined the question, not angrily, but querulously, like a child.

    The Vagrant Duke George Gibbs
  • "What is a physician if he talk not in the language of oracles," he said, querulously.

    The Lion's Brood

    Duffield Osborne
  • "There are no crimes and no criminals in these days," he said, querulously.

    A Study In Scarlet Arthur Conan Doyle
  • “But do pray tell me all about it, Bob,” said Mark, querulously.

    The Black Bar George Manville Fenn
  • "Mais, Messieurs," querulously recommenced the unhappy Margot.

    Pelham, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • "Pretty time to be fetchin' in the wash," said Mrs. Foster querulously.

  • "Yes; I saw the carts full of bricks go by," said the squire, querulously.

    The Belton Estate

    Anthony Trollope
  • At first she had been querulously impatient when no second communication came.

    A Rock in the Baltic Robert Barr
British Dictionary definitions for querulously


/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 querulously



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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