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[pet-ish] /ˈpɛt ɪʃ/
petulantly peevish:
a pettish refusal.
Origin of pettish
1585-95; see pet2, -ish1
Related forms
pettishly, adverb
pettishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pettish
  • For the last month or six weeks he has scarcely spoken to me but in the unmistakable language of a pettish anger.
  • He gave frequent displays of temper, discarded the orders of his own counsel, his voice became sharp and his manner pettish.
British Dictionary definitions for pettish


peevish; petulant: a pettish child
Derived Forms
pettishly, adverb
pettishness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from pet²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pettish

1550s, "impetuous," evidently from pet (n.2) in its "ill humor" sense + -ish. Meaning "peevish, easily annoyed" is from 1590s.

It has naturally been assoc. with PET sb.1, as being a characteristic habit of a "pet" or indulged and spoiled child; but the connexion of sense is not very clear or simple .... [OED]
Related: Pettishly; pettishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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