Dictionary.com

petulant

[ pech-uh-luhnt ]
/ ˈpɛtʃ ə lənt /
Save This Word!

adjective
moved to or showing sudden, impatient irritation, especially over some trifling annoyance: a petulant toss of the head.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of petulant

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Latin petulant- (stem of petulāns ) “impudent,” akin to petere “to seek, head for”

OTHER WORDS FROM petulant

pet·u·lant·ly, adverbun·pet·u·lant, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use petulant in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for petulant

petulant
/ (ˈpɛtjʊlənt) /

adjective
irritable, impatient, or sullen in a peevish or capricious way

Derived forms of petulant

petulance 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
FEEDBACK