- moved to or showing sudden, impatient irritation, especially over some trifling annoyance: a petulant toss of the head.
Origin of petulant
SynonymsSee more synonyms for petulant on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for petulant
The slimy, childish, petulant Viserys starts off as a symbol of everything about Targaryen rule Westeros has rejected.
Petulant billionaires singlehandedly funded rivals to Mitt Romney.Speed Read: Kenneth Vogel’s ‘Big Money’ Shows How PACs Control Politics
June 9, 2014
They seem, in fact, like cranky, petulant children, coked to the gills.Stacks: Hitting the Note with the Allman Brothers Band
March 15, 2014
But alas, we learn that Rose is only courting the black man to make her mother angry, because she is a petulant teen.‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Review: The Depressing Demise of a Once-Great Show
February 24, 2014
Homeland fans made ranting about the awfulness of petulant teen Dana Brody into a weekly celebratory ritual.Is Marnie From ‘Girls’ the Worst Character on TV?
February 21, 2014
"I sha'n't tell you," came the petulant retort from the girl.Within the Law
She shrugged her shoulders with a petulant pessimism her youth made amusing.Quaint Courtships
Are you mistress of the petulant, the peevish, and the sullen tone?Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
For the first time, too, there was a petulant vein in his attitude toward me.In the Valley
Smiled, and made him ashamed of his petulant gift there, before them.Poems
William D. Howells
- irritable, impatient, or sullen in a peevish or capricious way
Word Origin and History for petulant
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.