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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce petulant (audio)

Dictionary definition of petulant

Excessively irritable, peevish, or prone to complaining or behaving in a sulky or ill-tempered manner.
"He stomped his foot in a petulant manner when he didn't get what he wanted."

Detailed meaning of petulant

The term can be used to describe a person who is easily irritated or who frequently expresses displeasure or discontent with others, often through pouting, whining or sulking.

Petulant behavior can be characterized by quick mood changes, especially when things don't go as planned, it can be seen as a form of immaturity and impulsive reactions.

It is often used to describe someone who is acting in a way that is considered to be childish or immature, and it can also describe someone who is being stubborn or difficult. A petulant person may be perceived as difficult to deal with due to their uncooperative attitude or their tendency to get easily upset.

Example sentences containing petulant

1. The petulant child refused to share his toys with his friends.
2. Her petulant attitude made her difficult to work with.
3. The manager responded to the petulant customer in a calm and professional manner.
4. She gave a petulant sigh when her request was denied.
5. His petulant behavior made it clear that he was not used to being told no.
6. The actor's petulant remarks during the interview created controversy.

History and etymology of petulant

The adjective 'petulant' has its origins in the Latin word 'petulans,' which means 'impudent' or 'forward.' This Latin term is related to 'petere,' meaning 'to seek' or 'to go towards.' Over time, 'petulant' evolved to describe someone who is excessively irritable, peevish, or prone to complaining and behaving in a sulky or ill-tempered manner, often displaying a forward or impudent attitude. The etymology of 'petulant' underscores the notion of seeking attention or reacting impulsively and rudely when one's desires or expectations are not met, reflecting the impetuous and ill-tempered nature associated with this word.

Quiz: Find the meaning of petulant

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Further usage examples of petulant

1. The petulant driver honked his horn loudly and impatiently at the traffic light.
2. She threw a petulant tantrum when her parents told her she couldn't stay up late.
3. The coach reprimanded the petulant athlete for his unsportsmanlike behavior.
4. He was known for his petulant outbursts during meetings.
5. The petulant student refused to apologize for his disruptive behavior.
6. Her incessantly petulant attitude quickly ruined what was supposed to be an enjoyable outing with friends.
7. He grew increasingly petulant when things didn't go as planned, often complaining and blaming others.
8. The teacher struggled to manage the petulant outbursts that disrupted the otherwise peaceful classroom.
9. The petulant child, refusing to share toys, threw a tantrum that echoed through the entire house.
10. The constant petulant complaints from one team member wore down the morale of the entire group.
11. His persistently petulant tone irritated everyone in the office, making collaboration challenging.
12. Avoiding the petulant coworker's negativity and drama became a daily strategy for maintaining workplace harmony.
13. The petulant guest's disruptive behavior quickly turned the festive party into an uncomfortable gathering.
14. She displayed a consistently petulant demeanor, rarely showing gratitude or enthusiasm for anything.
15. His petulant remarks, filled with bitterness and resentment, upset the entire group during the meeting.
16. The petulant driver behind them honked impatiently at every red light, adding to their stress.
17. Dealing with a chronically petulant boss, prone to mood swings, demands a high level of patience.
18. Her petulant behavior, characterized by constant criticism, alienated even her most understanding peers.
19. The petulant student's frequent disruptions disrupted the flow of the class and hindered learning.
20. The petulant comments from the client soured the mood of the entire project team.
21. The petulant client, unhappy with the results, demanded last-minute changes that added stress to the project.
22. Petulant reactions to setbacks can hinder progress and prevent creative problem-solving.
23. The petulant child's persistent whining and complaining tested the patience of even the most tolerant parents.
24. Despite numerous attempts to address her petulant attitude, it seemed to persist and overshadow her interactions.
25. He grew increasingly petulant and hard to please, making it challenging for his friends and family to engage with him positively.



childish, patient, tolerant, agreeable


Suffix -ant, GRE 11 (Graduate Record Examination), Vexation and Aggravation, Complaint and Discontent, Emotional Extremes and Reactions, Disenchantment and Discontent

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