Peevish Pee"vish, a. [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. [1913 Webster]

She is peevish, sullen, froward. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Expressing fretfulness and discontent, or unjustifiable dissatisfaction; as, a peevish answer. [1913 Webster]

3. Silly; childish; trifling. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

To send such peevish tokens to a king. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Querulous; petulant; cross; ill-tempered; testy; captious; discontented. See {Fretful}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • peevish — index fractious, froward, perverse, petulant, querulous, resentful, restive, sensitive (easily affected) …   Law dictionary

  • peevish — late 14c., peyvesshe perverse, capricious, silly, of uncertain origin, possibly modeled on L. perversus reversed, perverse, pp. of pervertere to turn about (see PERVERT (Cf. pervert)). Meaning cross, fretful first recorded 1520s …   Etymology dictionary

  • peevish — irritable, fractious, snappish, waspish, petulant, pettish, huffy, fretful, querulous Analogous words: captious, carping, caviling, faultfinding, *critical …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • peevish — [adj] irritable, testy acrimonious, angry, bad tempered, cantankerous, captious, carping, caviling, childish, churlish, complaining, crabbed*, cranky, critical, cross, crotchety*, crusty*, cussed, fault finding, fractious, fretful, fretting,… …   New thesaurus

  • peevish — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ irritable. DERIVATIVES peevishly adverb peevishness noun. ORIGIN originally in the sense «foolish, mad, spiteful»: of unknown origin …   English terms dictionary

  • peevish — [pē′vish] adj. [ME pevische < ?] 1. hard to please; irritable; fretful; cross 2. showing ill humor or impatience, as a glance or remark peevishly adv. peevishness n …   English World dictionary

  • peevish — peevishly, adv. peevishness, n. /pee vish/, adj. 1. cross, querulous, or fretful, as from vexation or discontent: a peevish youngster. 2. showing annoyance, irritation, or bad mood: a peevish reply; a peevish frown. 3. perverse or obstinate.… …   Universalium

  • peevish — [[t]pi͟ːvɪʃ[/t]] ADJ GRADED Someone who is peevish is bad tempered. Aubrey had slept little and that always made him peevish... She glared down at me with a peevish expression on her face. Syn: bad tempered Derived words: peevishly ADV GRADED ADV …   English dictionary

  • peevish — adj. irritable peevish about * * * [ piːvɪʃ] [ irritable ] peevish about …   Combinatory dictionary

  • peevish — adjective Etymology: Middle English pevish spiteful Date: circa 1530 1. querulous in temperament or mood ; fretful 2. perversely obstinate < a peevish child > 3. marked by ill temper • peevishly adverb • peevishness …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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