See also: pétulance



From Middle French pétulance, and its source, Latin petulantia.


petulance (countable and uncountable, plural petulances)

  1. (obsolete) Rudeness, insolence. [16th–19th c.]
    • 1704, Edward Hyde, The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England:
      [W]ise men knew, that that, which looked like pride in some, and like petulance in others, would, by experience in affairs, and conversation amongst men, both of which most of them wanted, be in time wrought off […].
  2. (obsolete) An insolent remark or act. [17th–19th c.]
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, Letter 69:
      I believe I was guilty of a petulance, which nothing but my uneasy situation can excuse; if that can.
  3. Childish impatience or sulkiness; testiness. [from 18th c.]
    • 1857, Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers, Volume the Second, page 29 →ISBN
      She had not done this, but had shown herself angry and sore, and was now ashamed of her own petulance, and yet unable to discontinue it.