Definition of petulance in US English:



  • The quality of being childishly sulky or bad-tempered.

    ‘a slight degree of petulance had crept into his voice’
    • ‘Exhibiting a petulance last season, it has been alleged that he would throw tantrums if substituted in youth matches.’
    • ‘I have never seen him descend to such a depth of petulance and spitefulness that he reached last night.’
    • ‘Anger would have been misplaced, petulance completely out of character.’
    • ‘The old petulance, the bearlike hunching ill-temper of his bachelor days has vanished.’
    • ‘Calderwood was so angered by the petulance he refused to acknowledge his midfielder.’
    peevishness, bad temper, ill temper, pettishness, pique, impatience, irritability, moodiness, sulkiness, snappishness, touchiness, waspishness, irascibility, tetchiness, testiness, querulousness, fractiousness, cantankerousness, grumpiness, grouchiness, crabbiness, ill humour, spleen
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