- moved to or showing sudden, impatient irritation, especially over some trifling annoyance: a petulant toss of the head.
Origin of petulant
Synonyms for petulant
Examples from the Web for petulantly
Historical Examples of petulantly
It was the woman's voice behind them, petulantly exclaiming.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
"No; nor will she miss now," cries The Vengeance, petulantly.A Tale of Two Cities
"I think the whole affair has been a mistake, anyway," one of them said petulantly.The Film of Fear
"Well, I never kin tell t'other from which," replied Maria, petulantly.Si Klegg, Book 5 (of 6)
"I've been ringing this bell for hours," it said petulantly.Such Blooming Talk
L. Major Reynolds
- irritable, impatient, or sullen in a peevish or capricious way
Word Origin 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.