Definition of peevish in US English:

peevish

adjective

  • Easily irritated, especially by unimportant things.

    ‘all this makes Steve fretful and peevish’
    • ‘It just means that you do have license to break; that you are not just being peevish.’
    • ‘The boys tended to make the men peevish and sarcastic, the girls made Emma brittle and shrewish.’
    • ‘A spotty youth with greasy black hair, he was sitting at the table with a peevish expression on his weaselly face.’
    • ‘The stress of her endless demands on Sidney Herbert accompanied by peevish outbursts, surely contributed to his own death at the early age of 51 in 1861.’
    • ‘I spoke with the tone of some peevish adolescent, arms tense at my sides, and eyes like two slits expelling charcoal fog.’
    • ‘As for his peevish, snide remarks about the press, he may think them, but he really has to keep them to himself.’
    • ‘Maybe she is glacial and peevish; maybe you've already stuck around way too long.’
    • ‘Linton was now only peevish instead of fearful; with the danger to himself over, he relaxed.’
    • ‘We are more used to his peevish criticism of Tory successes.’
    • ‘Seeing him whiny and peevish in the first debate was a huge anti-climax.’
    • ‘It happens and we shouldn't get peevish about it.’
    • ‘Marshall, on the other hand, always sounded peevish, arrogant and condescending.’
    • ‘I'm not sure why it is that liberals have become gloomy, scolding, peevish and puritanical, but so they have.’
    • ‘Boswell, peevish after spending a night in a haybarn, complained of the lack of marble monuments.’
    • ‘Not entirely not herself, but still a little peevish.’
    • ‘Lyra, who is apparently cast as a rebellious, headstrong girl, comes across as peevish and irritating.’
    • ‘Arilss was deposited on Morgan's other side, looking equally peevish.’
    • ‘Either way I was feeling a tad peevish at the moment.’
    • ‘It featured a peevish hipster, complaining about how his grasp of cool was slipping.’
    • ‘As the authors have produced such a splendid book it seems peevish to point out deficiencies.’
    • ‘I know you dislike receiving correspondence from one such as I, the basest of the base, and I know it makes you slightly peevish and completely spoils your day, nonetheless, I have dire news, indeed.’
    • ‘Students are showing no sign of being as bitchy and peevish as I was yet.’
    • ‘Spring comes soon, and the eldest son suddenly turns moody and peevish, unwilling to eat or go to school.’
    • ‘To some he seemed peevish and antsy-almost wired.’
    • ‘Always being overlooked would cause a person to become peevish.’
    • ‘She clenched the air in her hands like a peevish child.’
    • ‘But the board added a peevish note to the effect that it was a shame the law allowed no prohibition of what it called ‘hate speech’.’
    • ‘I was kind of feeling peevish, and I wasn't too happy about that feeling.’
    • ‘His posture was impatient, peevish and annoyed that he had to answer to anyone.’
    • ‘By the time we emerged in the canning shed, Granny was back to her usual peevish self, as if nothing had happened.’
    • ‘Everyone looked angry, except Joyuko who looked more skeptical than peevish as she usually did.’
    • ‘At least I broke nothing and burned no one, although I did make mild-mannered old Jason downright peevish from all the messy sink water I splashed onto him.’
    • ‘I think Stewart is kind of funny, but also peevish - not as nimble at turning things into fun as he used to be.’
    • ‘He grinned at her, sharing their triumph, though he knew that in a few days she would become peevish and seek another argument.’
    • ‘There he catered to couples, snazzy middle-aged divorced female cliques and peevish teenagers.’
    • ‘Harder to stomach is the peevish, chip-on-your-shoulder feminism that pervades so much of the book.’
    • ‘He calms down but remains peevish; much in the way of a child who does not get his/her own way.’
    • ‘He becomes more and more peevish and tiresome, the archetypal boring jokey uncle of TV sit-corns, as his music becomes more and more unfathomably deep.’
    • ‘He has been severely criticized as peevish, neurotic, rising only to mediocrity, but it was not an easy war to win.’
    • ‘He resists with buffoonery on the set, peevish demands for attention, and displays of contempt for her direction.’
    irritable, irascible, fractious, fretful, cross, petulant, pettish, crabbed, crabby, crotchety, cantankerous, curmudgeonly, disagreeable, miserable, morose, peppery, on edge, edgy, impatient, complaining, querulous
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘perverse, coy’): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

peevish

/ˈpivɪʃ//ˈpēviSH/