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


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

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Late 15th century: From late Latin querulosus, from Latin querulus, from queri (to complain).


  • 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."


  • 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


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

  • habitually complaining

    The querulous old woman was beginning to wear down even the happier members of the staff with her ceaseless complaining.

    October 12, 2016

  • 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