petulant

[ pech-uh-luhnt ]
/ ˈpɛtʃ ə lənt /

adjective

moved to or showing sudden, impatient irritation, especially over some trifling annoyance: a petulant toss of the head.

Nearby words

  1. petty sessions,
  2. petty, richard,
  3. petty-fitzmaurice,
  4. petulance,
  5. petulancy,
  6. petulantly,
  7. petunia,
  8. petuntse,
  9. petworth house,
  10. petén-itzá

Origin of petulant

1590–1600; < Latin petulant- (stem of petulāns) impudent, akin to petere to seek, head for

Related formspet·u·lant·ly, adverbun·pet·u·lant, adjectiveun·pet·u·lant·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for petulant


British Dictionary definitions for petulant

petulant

/ (ˈpɛtjʊlənt) /

adjective

irritable, impatient, or sullen in a peevish or capricious way
Derived Formspetulance or petulancy, nounpetulantly, adverb

Word Origin for petulant

C16: via Old French from Latin petulāns bold, from petulāre (unattested) to attack playfully, from petere to assail

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

Word Origin and History for petulant

petulant

adj.

1590s, "immodest, wanton, saucy," from Middle French petulant (mid-14c.), from Latin petulantem (nominative petulans) "wanton, froward, saucy, insolent," present participle of petere "to attack, assail; strive after; ask for, beg, beseech" (see petition (n.)). Meaning "peevish, irritable" first recorded 1775, probably by influence of pet (n.2). Related: Petulantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper