- moved to or showing sudden, impatient irritation, especially over some trifling annoyance: a petulant toss of the head.
Origin of petulant
Examples from the Web for 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 and History for petulantly
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.