[kwer-uh-luhs, kwer-yuh-]
  1. full of complaints; complaining.
  2. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for querulously

Historical Examples of querulously

  • "I—I don't think it interests me much," he said querulously.

  • "Let me up," he said querulously, and began to wipe his face.

    Salted With Fire

    George MacDonald

  • He whined the question, not angrily, but querulously, like a child.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

  • "What is a physician if he talk not in the language of oracles," he said, querulously.

    The Lion's Brood

    Duffield Osborne

  • "There are no crimes and no criminals in these days," he said, querulously.

    A Study In Scarlet

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for querulously


  1. inclined to make whining or peevish complaints
  2. 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 querulously



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