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Peevish   /pˈivɪʃ/   Listen
Peevish

adjective
1.
Easily irritated or annoyed.  Synonyms: cranky, fractious, irritable, nettlesome, peckish, pettish, petulant, scratchy, techy, testy, tetchy.  "Not the least nettlesome of his countrymen"



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"Peevish" Quotes from Famous Books



... themselves of the day, for which they have no use, by childish amusements or vicious delights. They act as beings under the constant sense of some known inferiority that fills their minds with rancour and their tongues with censure. They are peevish at home and malevolent abroad, and, as the outlaws of human nature, make it their business and their pleasure to disturb that society which debars them from its privileges. To live without feeling or exciting sympathy, to be fortunate without adding to the felicity ...
— Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia • Samuel Johnson

... no sacrifice," said Annunciata, in her peevish voice. "I loathe traveling. And now I am being made to suffer for all I have done. He will die, and the rest of us—what will happen ...
— Long Live the King • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... and Gujarat Mahomedans, men from Hindustan and one or two Daudi Bohras, the regular customers of the "Kasumba" saloon. There is one woman in the room—a member of the frail sisterhood, now turned faithful, nursing an elderly and peevish Lothario with a cup of sago-milk gruel, which opium-eaters consider such a delicacy: while the other customers sit in groups talking with the preternatural solemnity born of their favourite drug, and now and again passing a remark ...
— By-Ways of Bombay • S. M. Edwardes, C.V.O.

... figure and in the lingering tread of her weary little feet. It was a look more painful to see than the look of sadness or neglect which motherless children sometimes wear. It was of a wayward temper grown more wayward still for want of a mother's firm and gentle rule. One could not doubt that peevish words and angry retorts fell very naturally from those pale lips. She looked like one who needed to be treated with patience and loving forbearance, and who failed to meet either. And, indeed, the rule to which Christie was forced ...
— Christie Redfern's Troubles • Margaret Robertson

... only have been more certain that he was satisfied with me, nothing would have been wanting to my happiness. Everybody waited upon me; and perhaps it was on this account that Ernst, in comparison, seemed somewhat cold; I was the petted child of my too kind parents; I was thankless and peevish, and ah, some little of this still remains! Nevertheless, it was during this very time that, under the influence of my husband, the true beauty and reality of life became more and more perceptible to my ...
— The Home • Fredrika Bremer

... these orphans, he was angry at it, and a suspicion came into his mind as to those sons whom he had put to death, whether that had not been brought about by the false tales of Antipater; so that at that time he made Antipater a long and a peevish answer, and bid him begone. Yet was he afterwards prevailed upon cunningly by his flatteries, and changed the marriages; he married Aristobulus's daughter to him, and his ...
— The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem • Flavius Josephus

... acquired, not natural; nor derived from any illiberality of God's, but from the ill-managery of his bounty. Let them not charge God foolishly, or think that by making them women, he necessitated them to be proud or wanton, vain or peevish; since it is manifest he made them to better purpose; was not partial to the other sex; but that having, as the prophet speaks, "abundance of spirit," he equally dispensed it, and gave the feeblest woman as large ...
— Woman: Man's Equal • Thomas Webster

... when peevish, Bessie had a way of turning up her eyes at him that reduced him to helplessness and adoration. And she was delicate! "I know," he sympathized with her loyally, "it's like trying to work and be jolly with a jumping tooth; or rather, in your case, with a constant buzzing ...
— Southern Lights and Shadows • Edited by William Dean Howells & Henry Mills Alden

... f'rimpudence to a gen'l'm'n," is the peevish return of OLD MORTARITY, who immediately falls asleep as he lies, with ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 19, August 6, 1870 • Various

... When Burton would incline to a quiet evening, I should have a party. When you and he would like to slip off to a movie, you would have to be polite and invite me. Nobody could be crazier about nieces and nephews than I am, but sometimes if I were tired from my work their chatter might make me peevish. And you would punish them when I thought you shouldn't, and wouldn't do it when I thought you should, and think of the arguments there would be. And so we all agree, don't we, that it would be more fun for me to move ...
— Eve to the Rescue • Ethel Hueston

... remembered with a fresh pang the one woman who had a right to share her grief, nay, to call him—in no figurative sense—"enfant"; the wrinkled old Jewess, palsied and deaf and peevish, who lived on in a world despoiled of his splendid fighting strength, of ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... of them was so formidable that the council gave up the consideration of the menacing message they had been about to send, and instead agreed upon a letter of amnesty, as likely to succeed better with a people of so "peevish and touchy" a humor. ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... blind secretary, and his letter is a fine example of the mode of humouring a great man. Be it remembered, as we read, that this letter was not addressed to one of the greatest names in literature, but to a petulant and often peevish scholar, living of necessity in great retirement, whose name is never once mentioned by Clarendon, and about whom the voluminous Thurloe, who must have seen him hundreds of times, has nothing to say except that he was "a blind man who wrote Latin letters." Odder ...
— Andrew Marvell • Augustine Birrell

... have consoled themselves, but upon an arrogant estimation of his own superior merit. When at home he was attacked by reflections that seldom made their appearance in the bustle of company; his own people scarcely ever saw him otherwise than gloomy, peevish, and unhappy, whilst elsewhere a forced vivacity made him the soul of every circle. With the sincerest sorrow did we behold him treading this dangerous path, but in the vortex in which he was involved the feeble voice of friendship was no longer ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... a while, blinking at the ceiling and worrying a little about Mihul. Even theoretically a stunner-max blast couldn't cause Mihul the slightest permanent damage. It might, however, leave her in a fairly peevish mood after the grogginess wore off, since the impact wasn't supposed to be pleasant. But Mihul had stated she would hold no grudges over a successful escape attempt; and even if they caught up with her again before she got to Manon, this attempt certainly had ...
— Legacy • James H Schmitz

... or two impatient glances at the progress of the minute-hand of the clock, having compared it with his own watch, a huge and antique gold repeater, and having twitched about his features to give due emphasis to one or two peevish pshaws, he hailed the old ...
— The Antiquary, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... as the subject owes the prince, Even such a woman oweth to her husband; And, when she's froward, peevish, sullen, sour, And not obedient to his honest will, What is she, but a contending rebel, And graceless traitor to her ...
— What Great Men Have Said About Women - Ten Cent Pocket Series No. 77 • Various

... carrying a baby and—greatly to Mr. Jones's annoyance—took the corner seat opposite him. Being a confirmed bachelor, he had a horror of all babies, but this child in particular struck him with disfavour; seldom, he thought, had he seen such a peevish discontented ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, May 14, 1919 • Various

... enough to enjoy a little extra doldrums at what might have made a longshoreman peevish. He mopped sweat and fanned himself with a newspaper till he grew frantic. He flung down the paper ...
— We Can't Have Everything • Rupert Hughes

... will not give him a doit! [In a peevish tone.] You interest yourself very warmly in his behalf. Perhaps you are to be a ...
— The Stranger - A Drama, in Five Acts • August von Kotzebue

... is her life, she pities her own case and refuses our pity. Man cannot help her. The starved, ignoble country in Childe Roland, one of the finest pieces of description in Browning, wicked, waste and leprous land, makes Nature herself sick with peevish wrath. "I cannot help my case," she cries. "Nothing but the Judgment's ...
— The Poetry Of Robert Browning • Stopford A. Brooke

... give him up as a listener. Lord Fontenoy ceased to talk; yet every now and then, as some jolt of the carriage made George open his eyes, he saw the broad-shouldered figure beside him, sitting in the same attitude, erect and tireless, the same half-peevish pugnacity giving expression to mouth ...
— Sir George Tressady, Vol. I • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... lives. They would be happier if he were dead. They could easier do without his services in the Circumlocution Office, than they can tolerate his fractious spirits. He poisons life at the well-head. It is better to be beggared out of hand by a scapegrace nephew, than daily hag-ridden by a peevish uncle. ...
— Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... The peevish old man scowled, hesitated. He read the order again, hesitated again, and at last handed it ...
— The Missourian • Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle

... And yet how short was the time and space which divided them! Less than an hour ago they had stood upon the summit of that rock and had laughed and chattered, or grumbled at the heat and flies, becoming peevish at small discomforts. Headingly had been hypercritical over the tints of Nature. They could not forget his own tint as he lay with his cheek upon the black stone. Sadie had chattered about tailor-made dresses ...
— A Desert Drama - Being The Tragedy Of The "Korosko" • A. Conan Doyle

... noiseless as cats. I had already mentally arranged my method of procedure; so, whispering to Hardy that he was to tackle the chief mate, while I would look after Renouf, I boldly knocked at the cabin door. A command to enter, given in rather a drowsy, peevish tone of voice, was the immediate response, whereupon I flung open the door and passed into the ...
— The Log of a Privateersman • Harry Collingwood

... a peevish voice, from amidst the blanket, "'tain't smart, neither, playin' around when a feller's kind o' roundin' up his plug. How'm I goin' to cut that all-fired buckskin out o' the bunch wi' you gawkin' around like a reg'ment o' hoboes? Ef you don't ...
— The Night Riders - A Romance of Early Montana • Ridgwell Cullum

... Lady Penelope—and the steady, though passive, sullenness of Lady Binks, spread among the company a gloom like that produced by an autumnal mist upon a pleasing landscape. The women were low-spirited, dull, nay, peevish, they did not well know why; and the men could not be joyous, though the ready resource of old hock and champagne made some of them talkative.—Lady Penelope broke up the party by well-feigned apprehension of the difficulties, nay, ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... alongside the Arabella, and up the entrance ladder came first a slight, spruce little gentleman in a coat of mulberry satin laced with gold, whose wizened, yellow, rather peevish face was framed in a heavy black periwig. His modish and costly apparel had nowise suffered by the adventure through which he had passed, and he carried himself with the easy assurance of a man of rank. Here, quite clearly, was no buccaneer. He was closely followed by one who in every particular, ...
— Captain Blood • Rafael Sabatini

... to his full height of six feet three, and, looking at him as he towered above me with his mane of disordered hair and flowing beard, I could not help thinking he rather resembled Samson in one of his peevish moods. The indignation that possessed him seemed sincere enough, but the circumstances of the case utterly bewildered me. I was gazing at him in perplexity when Henry came out ...
— Our Elizabeth - A Humour Novel • Florence A. Kilpatrick

... doctor, groaning and making peevish remarks; I, oblivious of all this, and careless of my friend's discomfort. My mind was full of visions of the lady—the fair unknown. I was exceeding anxious and troubled at the thought that all this time she had been alone, without any medical ...
— The Lady of the Ice - A Novel • James De Mille

... proverb. Alice Mangold Diehl tells of meeting Robert and Clara, and finding him peevish and her a model of meekness and patience. Poor Schumann realised his failings and his own danger, and often suggested retirement to an asylum. But the idea was too ghastly ...
— The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 2 • Rupert Hughes

... a peevish outburst, and he hesitated, as if minded to say no more; but the Skipper raised his head, and the dark eyes sent out a compelling glance. The weaker man faltered, gave way, and ...
— Nautilus • Laura E. Richards

... never known one so conscientious and self-sacrificing. This is natural to him. His love of right is supreme, and the thing he detests most is bad logic. It makes him peevish and often riles his temper. He defeats, but will never convince an opponent. This is bad. No one loves to break a lance with him, because he cuts such ungentlemanly gashes. He is strong, and he knows it. There is more of the Indian chief than of the Christian knight in his composition. But ...
— Life of Father Hecker • Walter Elliott

... (not to call it sallow) complexion, which, perhaps, was the effects of her virginity and mortification, she had a cast in her eyes that was not at all engaging; and such an extent of mouth, as no art or affectation could contract into any proportionable dimension; then her piety was rather peevish than resigned, and did not in the least diminish a certain stateliness in her demeanour and conversation, that delighted in communicating the importance and honour of her family, which, by the bye, was not to be traced two generations back by all the ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... of philanthropist!" broke in Germaine in a peevish tone. "There was a lot of philanthropy about his robbing ...
— Arsene Lupin • Edgar Jepson

... own family name. These old women, who never had chick nor child of their own, but who always know how to bring up other people's children, will tell you with very long faces, that my enchanting, quieting, soothing volume, my all-sufficient anodyne for cross, peevish, won't-be-comforted little bairns, ought to be laid aside for more learned books, such as THEY could select and publish. Fudge! I tell you that all their batterings can't deface my beauties, nor their wise ...
— The Only True Mother Goose Melodies • Anonymous

... Stewart scornfully. 'Who dares to bear witness, if I did maintain my father's lawful authority over peevish ...
— The Caged Lion • Charlotte M. Yonge

... transformed into its present state without a good deal of hard work on the part of all of them, her husband, their German assistants, and herself—their English shopman had been told that to-night his services would not be required. But Mrs. Hegner, though her pretty face was tired and peevish-looking, yet looked far pleasanter than she had done half an hour ago, for her husband had just presented her with a ...
— Good Old Anna • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... wife, who was now going up to the house with her two children, "I don't know what is going on in Madame de Mortsauf's mind, but for the last six weeks her disposition has completely changed. She, so gentle, so devoted hitherto, is now extraordinarily peevish." ...
— The Lily of the Valley • Honore de Balzac

... But, when he began in his artful way To talk of Insurance (Life), And asked me to take out a policy for My conjugal partner, my cordium cor, "No, no," said I, "If my spouse should die We should enter again into strife; You would come and say at the funeral, 'Sir, Your wife was peevish and plain; for her I offer six hundred or, if you prefer, A better ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, November 17, 1920 • Various

... to all the admirers of the genius of Albert Durer, that that famous engraver was endowed with a "better half," so peevish in temper, that she was the torment not only of his own life, but also of his pupils and domestics. Some of the former were cunning enough to purchase peace for themselves by conciliating the common tyrant, but woe to those ...
— McGuffey's Sixth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... bring up the children without swaddling clothes, so as to make their movements free and unconfined, and also to make them easily satisfied, not nice as to food, not afraid in the dark, not frightened at being alone, not peevish and fretful. For this reason, many foreigners used to obtain Lacedaemonian nurses for their children, and it is said that Amykla, the nurse of Alkibiades, was a Lacedaemonian. But Plato tells us that Perikles put him under the care of one ...
— Plutarch's Lives, Volume I (of 4) • Plutarch

... feel somewhat peevish over this sudden departure of the weather phenomenon which bore his family name. He slammed the receiver on to the hook and said a naughty word. A person overhearing might have wondered a bit, for here was a steamboat manager cursing ...
— Blow The Man Down - A Romance Of The Coast - 1916 • Holman Day

... wished was to have the name of the person for whom she was asking repeated. He now perceived that he had had a bit of luck. A wearying period of disappointment in the matter of keeping the paper-weights circulating while balancing the ruler, had left him peevish, and it had been his intention to work off his ill-humour on the young visitor. The discovery that it was the boss's sister who was taking up his time, suggested the advisability of a radical change of tactics. ...
— The Adventures of Sally • P. G. Wodehouse

... indignations. The windmiller's wife dared not, for her life, have told him in so many words that she thought it would be for their joint benefit if he would give a little more consideration to her wishes and opinions; but from this suppressed idea came many sharp and peevish words at this time, which, apart from their true source, were quite as unreasonable and perverse as the miller held them to be. Nor is being completely under the control of another, self-control. It may be doubted if it can even do much to teach it. The thread of her passive ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... and in her hard, sad face With flashes of the old fun's animation There lowers the fixed and peevish resignation Bred of a past where troubles came apace. She tells me that her husband, ere he died, Saw seven of their children pass away, And never knew the little lass at play Out on the green, in whom he's deified. Her kin dispersed, her friends ...
— Poems by William Ernest Henley • William Ernest Henley

... obstreperous and had eaten most of the paint off his Noah's Ark, and had later burnt his fingers pulling my unbaked loaf-cake out of the oven, after eventually tiring of breaking the teeth out of my comb, one by one. Poppsy and Pee-Wee had been peevish and disdainful of each other's society, and Iroquois Annie had gruntingly intimated that she was about fed up on trekking the floor with wailing infants. But I'd had my week's mending to do, and what was left of the ironing ...
— The Prairie Mother • Arthur Stringer

... see you de last time. And now, Uncle Caleb, dey wants to hear from your own mouf de precious words, dat you feels prepared to meet your God, and is ready and willin' to go,' Old Caleb opened his eyes suddenly, and in a very peevish, irritable tone, rebuffed the pious functionary in the following unexpected manner: 'Jeff, don't talk your nonsense to me! You jest knows dat I an't ready to go, nor willin' neder; and dat I an't prepared to meet nobody,' Jeff expatiated largely not only on the mercy of ...
— American Negro Slavery - A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime • Ulrich Bonnell Phillips

... do sometimes improve! I knew a fine little fellow, much made of by his family and friends, who used to be so peevish about all the little ups and downs of life, and had such a lamentable whine in his voice when he was thwarted in any trifle, that if you had heard without seeing him, you'd have sworn that the most miserable wretch in the world was bewailing the worst of catastrophes with failing breath. ...
— Brothers of Pity and Other Tales of Beasts and Men • Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing

... dignity of the mother. She believed that too little allowance was made for the heedlessness growing out of pure exuberance of spirits. But when a law was once established it was unalterable, and no child ever thought of resisting it. For instance, no one, large or small, was allowed to exhibit a peevish ill-nature, either by word or manner, in the public rooms of the house. My mother merely said, in a quiet tone: "My child, you are either tired or sick; in either case, it would be better to go to your own room and lie down until ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... much obliged if you would recover them for us. You see, we called here about a hundred years ago and were murdered in our beds, here in this house. It was your great-grandfather's doing; he was a bit peevish that evening. We had arrived with all our trunks, had searched the whole town for lodgings; every place was crowded. Some one advised us to call here. The old gentleman, after a deal of grumbling, showed us into a room, the first floor front. I ...
— From a Terrace in Prague • Lieut.-Col. B. Granville Baker

... gait of Henry Denvil as he passed with a certain speculative interest. These eyes belonged to a woman, plain, no longer young, her sole attractions a soft voice and pleasing manner; and a small, meagre man, wiry as a grasshopper, with gray hair, a yellow skin, large nose, and a peevish mouth. In the faces of both husband and wife was a hungry, pinched look. Years of poverty sometimes sets such a seal ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 7 • Various

... unless he, like myself, had some disagreeable experiences there, and I remembered that he had usually gone out when I had, and was seldom, if ever, alone in the studio when I returned. His tone was so peevish and impatient that I thought discussion was injudicious, and simply replied, "Oh, you're bilious; I'll be home early," and went away. I have often thought since that it was the one occasion when I could have easily broached the subject of my mental trouble, ...
— Shapes that Haunt the Dusk • Various

... town, often objected to any special exploitation of his name. This always distressed the committee, who saw a large profit to their venture in the prestige of his fame. The following characteristic letter was written in self-defense when, on one such occasion, a committee had become sufficiently peevish to ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... she approached the cidevant butler, with the purpose of decoying him out of the garden. But John Gudyill's temper was not improved by his decline in rank and increase in years. Like many peevish people, too, he seemed to have an intuitive perception as to what was most likely to teaze those whom he conversed with; and, on the present occasion, all Jenny's efforts to remove him from the garden served only to root him in it as fast ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... till its supply of quills began to run low, and the creature grew uneasy. "What does this mean?" he seemed to say, his excitement rising. His shield upon his back, too, we trifled with, and when we finally drew him forth with a forked stick, his eyes were ready to burst from his head. In what a peevish, injured tone the creature did complain of our unfair tactics! He protested and protested, and whimpered and scolded, like some infirm old man tormented by boys. His game after we led him forth was to keep himself as much ...
— Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers • John Burroughs

... exemplary spirit of order. His morals were regular; his sense of religion habitual, profound, and operative. In his declining age, harassed by diseases and cares and saddened by the loss of a beloved wife, the worthy sharer of his inmost counsels, he became peevish and irascible; but his heart was good; in all the domestic relations he was indulgent and affectionate; in his friendships tender and faithful, nor could he be accused of pride, of treachery, or of vindictiveness. ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... some vocal nose, informed by murky visions of the night, brayed out its stertorous tale to the unheeding air. At times a shrill, sharp pipe, screaming with gusts of horror, split my unexpectant ear. With this wrangled fitfully the cracked clarionet of some peevish brother. Ever and anon some vast nostril, punctually thundering, hurled forth the relentless growl of the bassoon,—a very mountain of sound, which crushed all before it, and made the shuddering timbers crack and reel. A pensive flute vainly poured, in swift ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... noticed that, as she left the florist shop, a man on the other side of the street had stopped and looked at her. He was a haggard young individual with a pale, peevish expression on his face, a man with a chin the unimpressiveness of which was hidden behind a ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... "But you can't provoke me to-day. I'm too happy to be peevish. Come, kneel down, you'll never find ...
— Patchwork - A Story of 'The Plain People' • Anna Balmer Myers

... And the philosopher Bion said pleasantly of the king, who by handsful pulled his hair off his head for sorrow, "Does this man think that baldness is a remedy for grief?"—[Cicero, Tusc. Quest., iii. 26.]—Who has not seen peevish gamesters chew and swallow the cards, and swallow the dice, in revenge for the loss of their money? Xerxes whipped the sea, and wrote a challenge to Mount Athos; Cyrus employed a whole army several days at work, to revenge himself of the river Gyndas, ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... unfortunate struggle, a genuine tragedy. This idea gripped me. And I reviewed all the abuse he had heaped upon me; I counted the blows, the names ... It was not the colonel's fault, that I knew well; it was his affliction that made him so peevish and even wicked. But I pardoned all, everything!... The worst of it was the end of that fatal night ... I also considered that in any case the colonel had not long to live. His days were numbered; did not he himself feel that? Didn't he say every now and then, "How much longer have I to live? ...
— Brazilian Tales • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

... this with a frank and artless simplicity of which it was impossible not to feel the charm. M. Filleul himself, though maintaining a distrustful reserve, took a certain pleasure in listening to him. He asked him, in a less peevish tone: ...
— The Hollow Needle • Maurice Leblanc

... walking will not suit spiritual temples: for they will greatly pollute and defile them, and stain and obscure their beauty and glory. Therefore they must not be brawlers and contentious persons, covetous and worldly-minded, vain and frothy. They must not be froward and peevish, nor defraud others of their right. Nor must they neglect the worship of God in their families, nor be careless in governing and educating them in good manners, and in the things of God. They must not be such as are known to omit the duties and ordinances of religion in their proper ...
— The Divine Right of Church Government • Sundry Ministers Of Christ Within The City Of London

... been stuffing your head with some more of her nonsense." Mr. Travers spoke in a voice which astonished d'Alcacer as much as the smile, a voice that was not irritable nor peevish, but had a distinct note of indulgence. "My dear d'Alcacer, that craze has got such a hold of her that she would tell you any sort of tale. Social impostors, mediums, fortune-tellers, charlatans of all sorts do obtain a strange ...
— The Rescue • Joseph Conrad

... the silly promises of advantages to come which induced Athens to make the infamous Peace, and quotes the famous remark whereby the traitor gang raised a laugh while in the act of selling their country. "Demosthenes is naturally a sour and peevish fellow, for he drinks water." Drawing their attention to this origin of all their trouble, he asks them to remember their names—at the same time remarking that even if a man deserved to die, punishment should be suspended if it meant loss and ...
— Authors of Greece • T. W. Lumb

... pored, with a fiery unquiet eye, over a paper which I took to be a commission, and which, at all events, bore the signature of a monarch. He muttered to himself, as did the first seaman whom I saw in the hold, some low peevish syllables of a foreign tongue, and although the speaker was close at my elbow, his voice seemed to reach my ears from ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... mustache, walk out of the German Embassy, which was situated on the Rue de Lille near the Boulevard St. Germain. Along the boulevard and across the Pont de la Concorde he walked in a manner calculated to attract attention. He approached the animated and peevish groups of citizens that had formed a little before for the purpose of discussing the imminent war as if he wanted them to notice him. You would have said that he was trying to be recognized and to take part ...
— Fighting France • Stephane Lauzanne

... You will hardly be so foolish as to let the peevish animosity of an ill-conditioned man prejudice your ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... that distinguish old acquaintances from new ones. When it did not transpire in chance words she caught it in their glances or divined it in the mental atmosphere. As autumn passed into early winter she became nervous, peevish, and exacting; she lost much from her pretty ways and something from her looks. In the family the change was ascribed to the fatigue incidental to the sudden round of lunches, dinners, dances, suppers, theatre-parties, ...
— The Wild Olive • Basil King

... Venetian Chamber wherein the fete was. Ufford closed the door. You saw that he had put away the exterior of mirth that hospitality demanded of him, and perturbation showed in the lean countenance which was by ordinary so proud and so amiably peevish. ...
— The Certain Hour • James Branch Cabell

... difficult than to bear with patience the apparently unreasonable depression and ever-varying whims of the peevish convalescent, whose powers of self-control have been prostrated by long bodily exhaustion. Nothing is more trying than to find anxious exertions for their comfort and amusement, either entirely unnoticed and useless, or met with petulant contradiction ...
— The Young Lady's Mentor - A Guide to the Formation of Character. In a Series of Letters to Her Unknown Friends • A Lady

... his wife, so that the King might catch it from her; and he speedily found what he sought, and infected his wife and she the King, who gave it to several other women, whom he kept, and could never get thoroughly cured, for all the rest of his life he remained unhealthy, sad, peevish and inaccessible." ...
— The Tales Of The Heptameron, Vol. III. (of V.) • Margaret, Queen Of Navarre

... ever attained perfection in the two styles of oratory. It is true, that distinguished barristers have sometimes been distinguished in the House of Commons, but they have not been of the race of orators; they have been sharp, shrewd, bitter men, ready on vexatious topics, quick in peevish speech, and willing to plunge themselves into subjects whose labour or license is disdained by higher minds. But Erskine was an orator, vivid, high-toned, and sensitive; shrinking from the common-place subjects which common-place men ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... listen, for his experience teaches him that his hostess will find a way to punish him for his unfeeling conduct. It is of no use to change his quarters, for he may fare worse in this respect at the next place. And so he submits, and grows peevish and fretful, and even bald and gray over the woes of his tormentor. He consoles himself with one thought—in the next world landladies cease from troubling and ...
— Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City • James D. McCabe

... the threshold of time, I supposed this proceeding was approved by the best authorities. However, I had been thinking, reading, observing, and had as little faith in the popular theories in regard to babies as on any other subject. I saw them, on all sides, ill half the time, pale and peevish, dying early, having no joy in life. I heard parents complaining of weary days and sleepless nights, while each child, in turn, ran the gauntlet of red gum, jaundice, whooping cough, chicken-pox, mumps, measles, ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... the hint, Master Putnam, like a dutiful husband, who really loved his somewhat peevish and fretful wife, acknowledged by his silence in the future that the Harmons were much superior to any family that could not boast of possessing a minister and an island; the latter for ...
— Dulcibel - A Tale of Old Salem • Henry Peterson

... there might finally be full recovery, yet it would depend on the most tender and careful treatment of body and mind. London doctors, when he could be moved thither, confirmed the decision, and he began a helpless invalid life, in which a certain indifference and dulness made him a much less peevish and trying patient than would have been anticipated. Mysie was his willing, but intelligent slave; and his mother was not only thankful to have him brought back to her at any price, but really—though she would not ...
— Modern Broods • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... their hearts as naturally as the effects of their saddened lives appear upon their features. Consequently they wither, because the constant expression of happiness which blooms on the faces of other women and gives so soft a grace to their movements has never existed for them. They grow sharp and peevish because all human beings who miss their vocation are unhappy; they suffer, and suffering gives birth to the bitterness of ill-will. In fact, before an old maid blames herself for her isolation ...
— The Vicar of Tours • Honore de Balzac

... have been sound asleep in her bed, and raised herself with a start, and looking upon her with a peevish ...
— J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 2 • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... as heartless as a statue. He found the father the exact antithesis of the daughter, a nervous, fretful, irritable individual (gout had him by the heels at the time), who was as full of "yaps" and snarls as any Irish terrier, and as peevish and fussy as a fault-finding old woman. Added to this, he had a way of glancing all round the room, and avoiding the eye of the person to whom he was talking. And if Cleek had been like the generality of people, and hadn't known that some of the best and "straightest" ...
— Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces • Thomas W. Hanshew

... acutely. He paced his cell from morning to night, peevish and nervous, brooding deeply over what he considered to be an atrocity. He was a well-known man and on intimate terms with many of the foremost members of the Government and of the Services. He wrote to every man whom he thought capable ...
— Sixteen Months in Four German Prisons - Wesel, Sennelager, Klingelputz, Ruhleben • Henry Charles Mahoney

... "Peevish peppers, but I'm a tenderfoot," grunted Bud. "Why in Sam Hill didn't I think o' that myself? I reckon I'm gettin' too old fer ther cow business. I ought ter be milkin' cows ...
— Ted Strong in Montana - With Lariat and Spur • Edward C. Taylor

... old man gathers what he dares not spend, While, as for action, do he what he will, 'Tis all half-hearted, spiritless, and chill: Inert, irresolute, his neck he cranes Into the future, grumbles, and complains, Extols his own young years with peevish praise, But rates ...
— The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry • Horace

... individual cases is made to the great principle of moral rectitude. We find, accordingly, this principle called into action, when a man has become sensible of important defects in his moral habits. Thus, we may see a man, who has long given way to a peevish or irascible disposition, that is, to selfish acting upon his own feelings, without due regard to the feelings of others, setting himself to contend with this propensity upon the score of moral duty; while ...
— The Philosophy of the Moral Feelings • John Abercrombie

... for when the boss gets real peevish about anything it's not safe to get your signals mixed! I stands guard on the 'phone booth while Piddie was sendin' the message, and for once we plots away ...
— On With Torchy • Sewell Ford

... enough to provoke a saint!" replied a peevish voice from the furthest corner of the room. "You and your providences are more than I can stand. What do you mean this time, I should like to know? the picnic set for to-day, and every soul in the village lottin' on goin', 'xcept those who would like best to go and can't. I've been ...
— "Some Say" - Neighbours in Cyrus • Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards

... was never at all intimate with that peevish old woman," Stepan Trofimovitch went on complaining to me that same evening, shaking with anger; "we were almost boys, and I'd begun to detest him even then... just as he had ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... shrinking form, bent and crippled, shrouded; and he cried out in his disappointment like a peevish boy: "I thought it was she—she! Kaya was young, fair, her face was like a flower; her hair was like gold; her lips were parted, arched and sweet; her eyes—You, you are ...
— The Black Cross • Olive M. Briggs

... no doubt, often dreaded her Grace's conceptions, which were frequent, but all of the poetical or philosophical kind, for though she was very beautiful, she died without issue: she is said to have been very reserved and peevish, perhaps owing to the circumstance just mentioned, of having never been honoured with the ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume II • Theophilus Cibber

... never busied myself with the Lord Viscount's [Lord Bindon's] wealth, nor of his extortions, nor poisoning of his wife, as is here avowed, have I spoken. I have foreborne ... but I will not endure wrong at so peevish a fool's hands any longer. I will rather lose my life, and I think that my Lord Puritan Peryam doth think that the Queen shall have more use of rogues and villains than of men, or else he would not, at Bindon's instances, have yielded to ...
— Raleigh • Edmund Gosse

... should be weaned at ten months unless he is unwell at the time or the weaning comes in the heat of the summer, when there is danger of his becoming sickly or peevish. Preparatory to weaning, the baby should be accustomed to the bottle. Provided the bottle holds half a pint or four glasses, the number of bottles may be increased from one a day at four months to two or six at eight months. The ...
— Practical Suggestions for Mother and Housewife • Marion Mills Miller

... humour. A wife and mother who is perpetually fretful and peevish; who has nothing to utter to her husband when he returns from his daily occupation, whatever it may be, or to her children when they are assembled around her, but complaints of her hard lot and miserable destiny; who is always ...
— The Wedding Guest • T.S. Arthur

... LAND. One is peevish, if one can't have one's proper rest. What will you bet the Major has not returned home, and you have been keeping ...
— Minna von Barnhelm • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

... down for a few hours, they become nervous, panicky, and apprehensive, always listening, expecting something to happen. But we of the windless North, with our sunlit spaces, our quiet days and nights, grow peevish, petulant, and full of grouch when the wind blows. We will stand anything but that. We resent wind; it is not in the bond; we will have none ...
— The Next of Kin - Those who Wait and Wonder • Nellie L. McClung

... dressing-gown, and with the lower part of his body covered up with a rug. His face, fair and florid, with more than a suggestion of coarseness in the heavy jaw and thick lips, was drawn and wrinkled as though with pain. His lips wore an habitually peevish expression. He did not offer to rise when they came in. Matravers was thankful that Freddy spared him the necessity of immediate speech. He had recognized in a moment the man who had sat alone night after night in the back seats of the New Theatre, whose slow drawn-out ...
— Berenice • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... library; if he must be disturbed, he must. He does like to be alone sometimes," said the girl in a peevish tone. ...
— Stories Worth Rereading • Various

... of August, That turns men faint and mad, She quiets the peevish urchins By telling a dream she had— A heaven with marble counters, And ice, and a singing fan; And a God in white, so friendly, Just like ...
— Songs for a Little House • Christopher Morley

... how a woman who had a peevish child acted to regain from the Fairies her own offspring. His words are:—"Above this is a spreading oak of great antiquity, size, and extent of branches; it has got the name of Fairy Oak. In this very century (the eighteenth) a poor cottager, ...
— Welsh Folk-Lore - a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales • Elias Owen

... think him mad, sir?' said his master, speaking in a peevish tone. 'Don't use that word too freely. Why do you think ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... it. I'm sure I shouldn't have forgotten it if you had told me. But you keep everything from me. You are just like your father. You and James are both just like your father." Her voice had grown peevish, and an expression of fury distorted ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... forest was the old dame's hut, and up such a bean stalk Jack climbed, to find a giant and a castle high above. Why not? What may not be up there? You look up into the green cloud, and long for a moment to be a monkey. There may be monkeys up there over your head, burly red Howler, {131a} or tiny peevish Sapajou, {131b} peering down at you, but you cannot peer up at them. The monkeys, and the parrots, and the humming birds, and the flowers, and all the beauty, are upstairs—up above the green cloud. You are in 'the empty ...
— At Last • Charles Kingsley

... bitterly opposed to him politically. The tone of his speech made this difficult for us. Instead of being a dignified farewell to the House, as we had anticipated, it was querulous and personal, with a peevish and minatory note in it that made anything but perfunctory applause from the Opposition side very hard to produce. Two days afterwards, on March 3, 1894, Mr. Gladstone resigned. In the light of recent revelations, we know now that his failing ...
— The Days Before Yesterday • Lord Frederick Hamilton

... its power to dazzle her long, long ago. Perhaps the disenchantment was mutual; for the pretty, rose-cheeked, starry-eyed girl who had captivated his idle fancy had become a dream of the past, and his wife was a pale, sickly, peevish invalid, with frowsy hair ...
— Kate Danton, or, Captain Danton's Daughters - A Novel • May Agnes Fleming

... himself to another little glass of brandy. His mood seemed to absorb the spirit of the liqueur. "Fixed!" he repeated with a peevish snap in his tone. "I'm not 'fixed' at all, as you call it. Good God, sir! They no more care what becomes of me than they do about their old gloves. I gave them name and breeding and position—and everything—and they round on me like—like cuckoos." ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... o'er each departing penny grieves, [xli] And Avarice seizes all Ambition leaves; Counts cent per cent, and smiles, or vainly frets, O'er hoards diminished by young Hopeful's debts; Weighs well and wisely what to sell or buy, Complete in all life's lessons—but to die; Peevish and spiteful, doting, hard to please, Commending every time, save times like these; 260 Crazed, querulous, forsaken, half forgot, Expires ...
— Byron's Poetical Works, Vol. 1 • Byron

... in astrology, and all other occult learning, questioned for his life about 1612. I am sure it was when the present Earl of Manchester's father was Lord Chief Justice of England. He was found guilty by a peevish Jury: but petitioning King James by a Greek petition, as indeed he was an excellent Grecian; 'By my saul,' said King James, 'this man shall not die; I think he is a better Grecian than any of my Bishops:' so his life was spared, &c. ...
— William Lilly's History of His Life and Times - From the Year 1602 to 1681 • William Lilly

... Quincey appeared at only one of these dinners. The expression of his face was intelligent, but cramped and somewhat peevish. He was self- involved, and did not add to the cheerfulness of the meeting. I have consulted this gentleman's three essays, of which Charles Lamb is professedly the subject; but I cannot derive from them anything illustrative of my friend Lamb's character. I have been mainly struck therein by ...
— Charles Lamb • Barry Cornwall

... tall stone cage that waited for them with cold assurance, illumining their muddy road with scores of greasy, yellow, square eyes. The mud plashed under their feet as if in mocking commiseration. Hoarse exclamations of sleepy voices were heard; irritated, peevish, abusive language rent the air with malice; and, to welcome the people, deafening sounds floated about—the heavy whir of machinery, the dissatisfied snort of steam. Stern and somber, the black chimneys stretched their huge, thick sticks ...
— Mother • Maxim Gorky

... This put me into a more violent passion, which occasioned him to say several bitter reflecting things, that nettled me to the quick. He left me, as much dissatisfied with myself as he could possibly be with me; and in this peevish mood I gave a spring from the bottom of the sea up to the Island of ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete • Anonymous

... are ready to take up reports and to judge so rashly as you do, I cannot but conclude you are some peevish or melancholy man, not fit to be discoursed with; and ...
— The Pilgrim's Progress - From this world to that which is to come. • John Bunyan

... a diminutive red-faced woman, with hair and eyes very much like his own, and a face that wore a peevish, pinched expression. ...
— The Garies and Their Friends • Frank J. Webb

... aspirations, to a narrow sphere, within which he wandered incurably idealistic, pursuing prosaic or utilitarian objects—the favor of princes, place at Courts, the recovery of his inheritance—in a romantic and unpractical spirit.[82] Vacillating, irresolute, peevish, he roamed through all the towns of Italy, demanding more than sympathy could give, exhausting friendship, changing from place to place, from lord to lord. Yet how touching was the destiny of this laureled exile, this brilliant wayfarer on the highroads ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... one must be using some kind of exercise. Your fellow-servant has a blessed time on't that ever you saw. I make her play at shuttlecock with me, and she is the veriest bungler at it ever you saw. Then am I ready to beat her with the battledore, and grow so peevish as I grow sick, that I'll undertake she wishes there were no steel in England. But then to recompense the morning, I am in good humour all the day after for joy that I am well again. I am told 'twill do me good, and am content to believe it; if it ...
— The Love Letters of Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple, 1652-54 • Edward Abbott Parry

... think so too, if you were in bed with pneumonia. Since you're all in vigorous health she imagines you can get on without her. But she's not having a very jolly time of it, I should judge. Cheer her up with a lively letter, not a peevish ...
— Strawberry Acres • Grace S. Richmond

... even pagan good-nature is consonant with the warm wet woods and comfortable clouds of South England; it never had any place among the harsh and thrifty squires in the plains of East Prussia, the land of the East Wind. They were peevish as well as proud, and everything they created, but especially their army, was made coherent by sheer brutality. Discipline was cruel enough in all the eighteenth-century armies, created long after the decay of any faith or hope that could hold men together. But the state ...
— The Crimes of England • G.K. Chesterton

... death result from absorption of toxins. Frequently the prolonged confinement to bed, the continuous pain, and the natural impairment of appetite wear out the strength. In many cases the patient becomes peevish, irritable, ...
— Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition. • Alexander Miles

... but when Hans Eitelfritz, from Colln on the Spree, asked to be the first one put down on the muster-roll, he distinctly heard the provost oppose the clerk's scruples, saying warmly "write, write; I'd rather have him with one hand, than ten peevish fellows with two. He has fun and life in him. Advance him some money too, he probably lacks many ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... almost mechanically, as a pastime during that dark period when his thoughts were so heavy upon him. Hardly any collection of note is without one of these circular pictures, into which the attendant angels depress their heads so naively. Perhaps you have sometimes wondered why those peevish-looking Madonnas, conformed to no acknowledged or obvious type of beauty, attract you more and more, and often come back to you when the Sistine Madonna and the Virgins of Fra Angelico are forgotten. At first, contrasting ...
— The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry • Walter Horatio Pater

... out and peevish, and disinclined to move, but anything was better than sticking about in this roosting-place, this casual ward and clearing-house of the wild. The keen starlings were already off, swinging away, regiment by regiment, with a fine, bold ...
— The Way of the Wild • F. St. Mars

... drive the thoughts of Essex from her mind, or dispel the dejection with which the recollection of her love for him, and of his unhappy fate, oppressed her spirit. A year or two passed away, but time brought no relief. Sometimes she was fretful and peevish, and sometimes hopelessly dejected and sad. She told the French embassador one day that she was weary of her life, and when she attempted to speak of Essex as the cause of her grief, she sighed bitterly ...
— Queen Elizabeth - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... his nephew. At the same time, in a merry moment, he would load down his table with all that kitchen and cellar could provide, for the reflection of his friends. Thus he oscillated continuously between two extremes; but the power which swung the pendulum was always the aural malady. He grew peevish and capricious towards his best friends, rude, even brutal at times in his treatment of them; only in the next moment to overwhelm them most pathetically with attentions. Till the end of his life he remained ...
— Beethoven: the Man and the Artist - As Revealed in his own Words • Ludwig van Beethoven

... She wouldn't be saying it to Robin, but to the contemptible thing that had taken Robin's place. She still saw Robin as a young man, with young, shining eyes, who came rushing to give himself up at once, to make himself known. She had no affection for this selfish invalid, this weak, peevish bully. ...
— Life and Death of Harriett Frean • May Sinclair

... what a Nation of Projectors must bring their Country to. I shall here make a Digression, without giving any Reason for it; for since I am not bound to the Unities of Time, and Place, as we are in Poetry, I stand in no Awe of the peevish Criticks. ...
— The Theater (1720) • Sir John Falstaffe

... Tournan, roused some servants, and made them get us some bread, fruit, and mattresses. The bread and fruit we devoured, together with a lunch-tongue, from that excellent Chateau at La Haute Maison—the mattresses we took into a large airy room and slept on, until we were wakened by the peevish tones of the other motor-cyclists who had ridden with the column. One of them had fallen asleep on his bicycle and disappeared into a ditch, but the other two were so sleepy they did not hear him. We were all weary and bad-tempered, while a hot dusty day, and a rapid succession ...
— Adventures of a Despatch Rider • W. H. L. Watson

... My wife mighty peevish in the morning about my lying unquietly a-nights, and she will have it that it is a late practice, from my evil thoughts in my dreams,....and mightily she is troubled about it; but all blew over, and I up, and to church, and so home to dinner, where ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys



Words linked to "Peevish" :   ill-natured



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