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(of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered:‘he was moody and petulant’‘a petulant shake of the head’
complaining, pettish, touchy, testy, tetchy, waspish, prickly, crusty, peppery, fractious, fretful, irritable, cross, crabbed, crabby, crotchety, cantankerous, curmudgeonly, disagreeable, miserable, morose, on edge, edgy, impatient, bitter, moody, in a bad mood, grumpy, huffy, scratchy, out of sorts, out of temper, ill-tempered, bad-tempered, ill-natured, ill-humoured, sullen, surly, sulky, sour, churlish, bilious, liverish, dyspeptic, splenetic, cholericView synonyms
- ‘But now he was behaving like a petulant child and she simply could not imagine what had gotten into him.’
- ‘I cycled off, leaving him to glower after me like a petulant teenager.’
- ‘The film reveals him as a petulant child, given absolute authority!’
- ‘By midnight, he was pouting like a petulant kid being kept after school.’
- ‘They can simultaneously be revered as heroes on the park and behave like petulant children in the street.’
- ‘She's as assertive and capable as he is petulant and out of his element.’
- ‘He had his arms folded and was sneering like a petulant brat.’
- ‘Sometimes she reminds me of a petulant child holding its breath to get its way.’
- ‘Like a petulant child you indulged your temper, but you did so using that most dangerous of weapons, a car.’
- ‘It's all because I am consumed by trying to make it work right away, like some petulant child.’
- ‘This all makes for incredibly depressing viewing, not helped by Pfeiffer's petulant, sulky, scowling presence.’
- ‘Though personally brave, he was petulant and totally lacking in judgement - a mere shooting star.’
- ‘I can also become unpleasant and then behave like a petulant child.’
- ‘At the same time, he was given to sobbing and rages like a petulant child.’
- ‘They were so refreshing compared to the petulant teenagers she was around all morning.’
- ‘After all, she is a teenage girl and they tend to be somewhat melodramatic, whiny and petulant.’
- ‘He was petulant all day and was earlier booked for mouthing-off at the referee.’
- ‘Iaina pouted, resembling a petulant child instead of the full grown woman she was.’
- ‘His reputation is that he's only interested in winning and that he's a petulant loser.’
- ‘Mattie had come in like some petulant kid and thrown himself in a corner.’
Late 16th century (in the sense ‘immodest’): from French pétulant, from Latin petulant- impudent (related to petere aim at, seek). The current sense (mid 18th century) is influenced by pettish.
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