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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 querulously
Historical Examples
  • "This doesn't seem like a very convenient location," said Wallie, querulously.

    The Dude Wrangler Caroline Lockhart
  • "There are no crimes and no criminals in these days," he said, querulously.

    A Study In Scarlet Arthur Conan Doyle
  • "Don't start fires too soon, don't start fires too soon," said the old man, querulously.

  • “But do pray tell me all about it, Bob,” said Mark, querulously.

    The Black Bar George Manville Fenn
  • A knocking was heard at this moment at the door, and on its being repeated louder, Hickman querulously demanded, "Who was there?"

  • "Let me up," he said querulously, and began to wipe his face.

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • "I'd just dropped off when Mr. Lightfoot woke me slamming the doors," pursued the old lady, querulously.

    The Battle Ground Ellen Glasgow
  • He whined the question, not angrily, but querulously, like a child.

    The Vagrant Duke George Gibbs
  • "I wish they would begin the game," said Frobisher, querulously, for he took no interest in any topic but that of play.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • "What is a physician if he talk not in the language of oracles," he said, querulously.

    The Lion's Brood Duffield Osborne
British Dictionary definitions for querulously


/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 querulously



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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