Peevish Definition

Querulous or discontented.
American Heritage
Hard to please; irritable; fretful; cross.
Webster's New World
Showing ill humor or impatience, as a glance or remark.
Webster's New World
American Heritage
Contrary; fractious.
American Heritage

Origin of Peevish

  • From Middle English pevische, pevisse, pevysse, peivesshe, also peyuesshe, peeuish, of obscure origin. Perhaps from Middle English pew, pue (“a plaintive cry, the cry of a bird"), equivalent to pue +"Ž -ish. Cognate with Scots pevis, pevess, pevych, pevach (“peevish"), Scots pew, peu (“to cry in a plaintive manner"). See pue

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English pevish possibly from Latin perversus turned the wrong way, perverse past participle of pervertere to turn around, corrupt pervert

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Alternative etymology derives Middle English peyvesshe "capricious, silly", as a possible corruption of Latin perversus "perverted". The meaning "fretful" develops in the 16th century.

    From Wiktionary

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