Why was clemency trending last week?


[pee-vish] /ˈpi vɪʃ/
cross, querulous, or fretful, as from vexation or discontent:
a peevish youngster.
showing annoyance, irritation, or bad mood:
a peevish reply; a peevish frown.
perverse or obstinate.
Origin of peevish
1350-1400; Middle English pevysh < ?
Related forms
peevishly, adverb
peevishness, noun
unpeevish, adjective
unpeevishly, adverb
unpeevishness, noun
1. petulant, irritable, snappish. See cross. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for peevish
  • The movie has the metabolism, logic and attention span of a peevish 6-year-old.
  • While he can be peevish and even mean, he is also frequently funny and generous.
  • Martin isn't a very likable character—he's peevish, disdainful and annoyingly self-important.
  • Your reply is very peevish and puerile.
  • Bad smells have nowhere to go when the mercury plummets; they end up circling your airspace, growing peevish and multiplying.
  • The impending merger promises to end a history of peevish spats over campus buildings and competing fund-raising campaigns.
  • Bowel pains can make people peevish.
  • Not perfect, by any means: I found the prime minister a little peevish, and his opponent slightly hectoring.
  • One is peevish, if one can't have one's proper rest.
  • That will make you seem weak and peevish.
British Dictionary definitions for peevish


fretful or irritable: a peevish child
(obsolete) perverse
Derived Forms
peevishly, adverb
peevishness, noun
Word Origin
C14: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for peevish

late 14c., peyvesshe "perverse, capricious, silly," of uncertain origin, possibly modeled on Latin perversus "reversed, perverse," past participle of pervertere "to turn about" (see pervert (v.)). Meaning "cross, fretful" first recorded 1520s. Related: Peevishly; peevishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for peevish

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for peevish

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with peevish

Nearby words for peevish