Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Given to complaining; peevish.
  • adj. Expressing a complaint or grievance; grumbling: a querulous voice; querulous comments.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Often complaining; suggesting a complaint in expression; fretful, whining.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Given to quarreling; quarrelsome.
  • adj. Apt to find fault; habitually complaining; disposed to murmur.
  • adj. Expressing complaint; fretful; whining.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Complaining; habitually complaining; disposed to murmur or express dissatisfaction: as, a querulous man.
  • Expressing complaint; proceeding from a complaining habit: as, a querulous tone of voice.
  • Quarrelsome.
  • Synonyms and See plaintive and petulant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. habitually complaining

Etymologies

Middle English querulose, litigious, quarrelsome, from Old French querelos, from Late Latin querulōsus, querulous, from Latin querulus, from querī, to complain; see kwes- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Late 15th century: From late Latin querulosus, from Latin querulus, from queri (to complain). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It is legitimately hard to decide which of these four points is the most ridiculous. (1) and (2) might charitably be called querulous, demanding a full vector representation of all the heat/energy flows of a schematic representation.

    Rabett Run

  • "Anne!" called a querulous voice down the passage.

    Grace Harlowe's Plebe Year at High School The Merry Doings of the Oakdale Freshmen Girls

  • "Don't stand looking any longer, for mercy's sake!" called the querulous voice from the house.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866

  • Suddenly the groom, a kind of querulous shiver in his voice, spoke.

    It, and Other Stories

  • Her words came so fast that I cannot attempt their semblance here, and her voice rose and fell in a kind of querulous chant to which sometimes she nodded her head, as if she was beating the time.

    The Fool Errant

  • Servillo's performance at the centre of Paolo Sorrentino's grotesque portrait of former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti, as a kind of querulous, jug-eared gnome with homicidal instincts, was hugely entertaining and alarming.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Furthermore, not to be picky, but for a book that complains about poor vocabulary skills among digital readers and writers, I couldn't help but notice that on page sixteen he seems to misuse the word "querulous" in place of what sounds like he intended to be a synonym for "inquisitive."

    virtualpolitik

  • At sight of their other prisoner he chattered in a high querulous falsetto, with puckered brows and troubled, wild-animal eyes.

    Chapter 25

  • When I started to crawl along the packed gear with which the wagon was laden my mother said in a tired and querulous voice, "Can't you ever be still a minute, Jesse?"

    Chapter 12

  • His eyes had the querulous, troubled look such as she had noticed in monkeys; but while he was patently uncomfortable under her scrutiny, his thick lips were drawn firmly in an effort at sullen determination.

    Chapter 10

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • a philosopher is a man who works with stuff

    October 29, 2010

  • Complaining - like Professor Quirinus Quirrell (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone)

    August 13, 2007