[kwer-uh-luhs, kwer-yuh-]


full of complaints; complaining.
characterized by or uttered in complaint; peevish: a querulous tone; constant querulous reminders of things to be done.

Origin of querulous

1490–1500; < Latin querulus, equivalent to quer(ī) to complain + -ulus -ulous
Related formsquer·u·lous·ly, adverbquer·u·lous·ness, nounun·quer·u·lous, adjectiveun·quer·u·lous·ly, adverbun·quer·u·lous·ness, noun

Synonyms for querulous

1, 2. petulant, testy; caviling, carping, discontented.

Antonyms for querulous

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

Examples from the Web for querulous

Contemporary Examples of querulous

  • The querulous, interconnected pamphlets printed in seventeenth-century Europe prefigure the culture of modern blogging.

  • Calasso reconstruction is, in Mounts' judgment, a superbly ambitious, quirky, querulous, lyrical, and finally persuasive essay.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Best of Brit Lit

    Peter Stothard

    April 7, 2010

Historical Examples of querulous

  • And on his countenance there was a sour, querulous, resentful expression.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • A querulous, high-pitched voice, quavering with the palsy of extreme age.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • But the children had no awe of the gambler, and their protests were many and querulous.

  • For the moment, however, Mr. Mix was querulous rather than defensive.


    Holworthy Hall

  • At this moment a querulous, broken voice comes to them from some inner room.

    Molly Bawn

    Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

British Dictionary definitions for querulous



inclined to make whining or peevish complaints
characterized by or proceeding from a complaining fretful attitude or dispositiona querulous tone
Derived Formsquerulously, adverbquerulousness, noun

Word Origin for querulous

C15: from Latin querulus from querī to complain
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 querulous

c.1400, from Old French querelos "quarrelsome, argumentative" and directly from Late Latin querulosus, from Latin querulus "full of complaints, complaining," from queri "to complain." Retains the original vowel of quarrel (n.1). Related: Querulously; querulousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper