Definition of fretful in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfrɛtfʊl/
Pronunciation: /ˈfrɛtf(ə)l/


Feeling or expressing distress or irritation: the baby was crying with a fretful whimper
More example sentences
  • Most of Saturday I was distracted and fretful, wracking my brains about what I could do when I would be forced to disappear from Rob's life for an entire month.
  • A common first reaction to having made a mistake is to become upset, to become fretful or angry about it, or if it is a serious mistake to become deeply burdened and even depressed.
  • When he spoke, his voice, though fretful and agitated, was deep and noble.
distressed, upset, miserable, unsettled, uneasy, ill at ease, uncomfortable, agitated, distraught, overwrought, wrought up, worked up, tense, stressed, restive, fidgety;
North American  cranky



Pronunciation: /ˈfrɛtfʊli/
Pronunciation: /ˈfrɛtfəli/
Example sentences
  • She would pace through the house she had lived in most of her life crying fretfully that she wanted to go home.
  • ‘I know, but right now… right now I'm alone,’ he said fretfully.
  • Mr. Williams was talking to himself fretfully.


Pronunciation: /ˈfrɛtfʊlnəs/
Pronunciation: /ˈfrɛtfəlnəs/
Example sentences
  • It took me longer than it should have to realise that she was scared, to stop dismissing her unease as the silly fretfulness of an old lady, to decide that I would take her.
  • A mood of fretfulness thus pervades the pamphlet.
  • Of course, you're entitled to a bit of fretfulness.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fret|ful

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