moved to or showing sudden, impatient irritation, especially over some trifling annoyance: a petulant toss of the head.

1590–1600; < Latin petulant- (stem of petulāns) impudent, akin to petere to seek, head for

petulantly, adverb
unpetulant, adjective
unpetulantly, adverb

irritable, peevish, fretful, pettish, touchy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To Petulant
World English Dictionary
petulant (ˈpɛtjʊlənt)
irritable, impatient, or sullen in a peevish or capricious way
[C16: via Old French from Latin petulāns bold, from petulāre (unattested) to attack playfully, from petere to assail]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1599, "immodest, wanton, saucy," from M.Fr. petulant (1350), from L. petulantem (nom. petulans) "wanton, froward, insolent," from the root of petere "rush at, seek" (see petition). Meaning "peevish, irritable" first recorded 1775, probably by influence of pet (2).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
On the one hand she could be a moody and petulant bully, who carefully
  cultivated inflexible opinions and fostered great hates.
Reagan, flushed with catastrophe and glowing in boy - ish middle age, brought
  it to a petulant and somehow threatening close.
His reply reads as testy and petulant, which may or may not be the intended
His performances at European summits were petulant and destructive.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature