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Webster 1913 Edition


Peevish

Pee′vish

,
Adj.
[OE.
pevische
; of uncertain origin, perh. from a word imitative of the noise made by fretful children +
-ish
.]
1.
Habitually fretful; easily vexed or fretted; hard to please; apt to complain; querulous; petulant.
“Her peevish babe.”
Wordsworth.
She is
peevish
, sullen, froward.
Shakespeare
2.
Expressing fretfulness and discontent, or unjustifiable dissatisfaction;
as, a
peevish
answer
.
3.
Silly; childish; trifling.
[Obs.]
To send such
peevish
tokens to a king.
Shakespeare
Syn. – Querulous; petulant; cross; ill-tempered; testy; captious; discontented. See
Fretful
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Peevish

PEE'VISH

, a.
1.
Fretful; petulant; apt to mutter and complain; easily vexed or fretted; querulous; hard to please.
She is peevish, sullen, froward.
2.
Expressing discontent and fretfulness.
I will not presume
To send such peevish tokens to a king.
3.
Silly; childish.

Definition 2022


peevish

peevish

English

Alternative forms

  • pevish, pievish (obsolete)

Adjective

peevish (comparative more peevish, superlative most peevish)

  1. Constantly complaining; fretful, whining.
    • c. 1599, William Shakespeare, King Henry V, act 3, scene 7:
      Orleans: What a wretched and peevish fellow is this king of England, to mope with his fat-brained followers so far out of his knowledge!
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, ch. 41:
      [T]he luckless Kitty continued in the parlour repining at her fate in terms as unreasonable as her accent was peevish.
    • 1917, P. G. Wodehouse, "The Mixer" in The Man With Two Left Feet and Other Stories:
      At first he was quite peevish. "What's the idea," he said, "coming and spoiling a man's beauty-sleep? Get out."

Derived terms

Translations