View synonyms for fretful


[ fret-fuhl ]


  1. disposed or quick to fret; irritable or peevish.

    Synonyms: testy, impatient, querulous, petulant


/ ˈfrɛtfʊl /


  1. peevish, irritable, or upset
“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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Derived Forms

  • ˈfretfully, adverb
  • ˈfretfulness, noun
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Other Words From

  • fretful·ly adverb
  • fretful·ness noun
  • un·fretful adjective
  • un·fretful·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of fretful1

First recorded in 1585–95; fret 1 + -ful
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Example Sentences

I also felt a pang, watching Otto pull us out of our fretful dialogue.

From Time

Fried potatoes are one of mankind’s greatest inventions, but deep-frying at home can be as fussy and fretful as clipping a frantic cat’s claws.

Selznick was appropriately fretful from the start about length.

Calls made by Ishihara for a “new military” are alarming to many Japanese, and the Chinese blogosphere has been fretful about it.

Like George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life, the fretful marionettes pondered what life would be like without Sarkozy.

This strong and capable woman is fretful about what to wear for a dinner freighted with emotion.

As for the rest of the party, many are growing increasingly fretful over the violence being done to the GOP brand.

Occasionally he turned his head to watch with keen eyes the fretful movements of a fly hovering above the water.

Beardsley was watching Arnold's fingers; there was something aimless and fretful as they pushed among the code-sealed tapes.

“I fear there is an element of the morbid, in all this fretful revolt against the old-established destiny of our sex,” she said.

Mrs. Tynan's face flushed with sudden irritation and that fretful look came to her eyes which accompanies a lack of comprehension.

So that night his head was hot, and he was fretful; and in the morning he would not eat, and apparently had a fever.





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