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[kwer-uh-luh s, kwer-yuh-] /ˈkwɛr ə ləs, ˈkwɛr yə-/
full of complaints; complaining.
characterized by or uttered in complaint; peevish:
a querulous tone; constant querulous reminders of things to be done.
Origin of querulous
1490-1500; < Latin querulus, equivalent to quer(ī) to complain + -ulus -ulous
Related forms
querulously, adverb
querulousness, noun
unquerulous, adjective
unquerulously, adverb
unquerulousness, noun
1, 2. petulant, testy; caviling, carping, discontented.
1. contented. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for querulous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All the pride is there still, but it is cramped, querulous, and undignified.

    Mankind in the Making H. G. Wells
  • On his face was an expression of querulous surprise as he reeled to the fall.

    The House of Pride Jack London
  • "You know nothing about it, Lionel," was the querulous answer.

    Verner's Pride Mrs. Henry Wood
  • One gets unsettled, depressed, and inclined to be querulous.

    The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
  • The querulous cry of a child reached him from somewhere above—a murmur of voices, muffled by closed doors, from everywhere.

  • "Now some Beethoven" called Cecil, when the querulous beauty of the music had died.

    A Room With A View E. M. Forster
  • Cowley was once in love, after his querulous melancholy fashion; but he never had the courage to avow it.

  • And on his countenance there was a sour, querulous, resentful expression.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for querulous


/ˈkwɛrʊləs; ˈkwɛrjʊ-/
inclined to make whining or peevish complaints
characterized by or proceeding from a complaining fretful attitude or disposition: a querulous tone
Derived Forms
querulously, adverb
querulousness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin querulus from querī to complain
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
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Word Origin and History for querulous

c.1400, from Old French querelos "quarrelsome, argumentative" and directly from Late Latin querulosus, from Latin querulus "full of complaints, complaining," from queri "to complain." Retains the original vowel of quarrel (n.1). Related: Querulously; querulousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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