- (Of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered: he was moody and petulant a petulant shake of the headMore example sentences
- By midnight, he was pouting like a petulant kid being kept after school.
- I cycled off, leaving him to glower after me like a petulant teenager.
- It's all because I am consumed by trying to make it work right away, like some petulant child.
- More example sentences
- I looked up at this elegant, slender woman blessed with a large and loving family and plenty of resources and said, rather petulantly, ‘But she could find something else to do.’
- But I have to petulantly admit that when I've capitulated and carried out their wishes, their ideas do feel right.
- It is crucial that, if early decisions go against them, Celtic's players do not react petulantly and adopt a persecution complex.
late 16th century (in the sense 'immodest'): from French pétulant, from Latin petulant- 'impudent' (related to petere 'aim at, seek'). The current sense (mid 18th century) is influenced by pettish.