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Peevishness

noun
1.
An irritable petulant feeling.  Synonyms: choler, crossness, fretfulness, fussiness, irritability, petulance.
2.
A disposition to exhibit uncontrolled anger.  Synonyms: biliousness, irritability, pettishness, snappishness, surliness, temper.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Peevishness" Quotes from Famous Books



... order——' The old man shook his bald head and shrugged his small shoulders with almost French vivacity. He had been handsome once, and delicately featured, but now the left eye drooped, and the face had a strong look of peevishness and ill-health. ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... I know. Everything depends on her, and I think she can no longer have any reasons for hesitation. . . . At all events," he added, after a moment's silence and with a touch of peevishness, "I cannot see any that she could ...
— Mauprat • George Sand

... and the eyes are bright and cheerful. So it will be if the eye is clear and steady, and there is the appearance of earnest reflection. Frowning, with some depression of the corners of the mouth, which is a sign of grief, gives an air of peevishness. If a child (see Plate IV., fig. 2)[8] frowns much whilst crying, but does not strongly contract in the usual manner the orbicular muscles, a well-marked expression of anger or even of rage, together with misery, ...
— The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals • Charles Darwin

... absent dog. The audience took up the cry, the dogs barked more excitedly, and five minutes of hilarity delayed the turn which, when at last started, was marked by rustiness and erraticness on the part of the dogs and by great peevishness on the ...
— Michael, Brother of Jerry • Jack London

... with which, as has been seen, Antonio ruthlessly interfered. Marietta was not unwilling to give to Charles the footman, who was a handsome young fellow, the means of avenging himself, but as yet this expedient for a little amusement had not succeeded, and there had been a touch of peevishness in the tone with which she asked whether it was true that the Contessa intended remaining here. Madame di Forno-Populo was a woman who disliked the bondage of ...
— Sir Tom • Mrs. Oliphant

... with Henry's emphatic and positive statement that he was perfectly well, which had finally urged his relatives to a desperate step—a step involving intrigue and prevarication. And to justify this step had come the crowning symptom of peevishness—peevishness in Henry! ...
— A Great Man - A Frolic • Arnold Bennett

... persuaded her to share his lot. It proved, indeed, a darkened lot to the young bride. Her husband was a reckless, unsatisfied being, and though he ever loved her with all the affection of which such natures are capable, the warm expressions of his love, varied by fits of peevishness and ill-humor, were so unlike the calm, unchanging devotedness of her nature that she felt a bitter disappointment. Soon after the birth of their daughter his health failed, and he repaired to Italy for the benefit of a more genial climate, and in ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 3 September 1848 • Various

... she had anticipated. This pessimistic view was due in part to the constant and wearing difficulty of getting Fred Wentworth to be civil to him; yet May Gaston was half-inclined to fall in with it. The attitude of offence which he had at first maintained towards her was marked by peevishness, not by dignity, and when it was relaxed his old excessive politeness revived in full force. He had few 'moments' either; and the one reported to her with enthusiasm by Dick Benyon took place on Duty Hill while she was gossiping on the lawn. Disappointed in the half-conscious ...
— Quisante • Anthony Hope

... . ." he went on musing, "I wonder what they would say? . . . Come back to the lamp," he cried with sudden peevishness. "Don't look out there . . . this circle of light on the pavement . . . like ...
— Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... for Cranmer rendered fruitless all accusations against him, his pride and peevishness, irritated by his declining state of health, impelled him to punish with fresh severity all others who presumed to entertain a different opinion from himself, particularly in the capital point of the ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. - From Henry VII. to Mary • David Hume

... anger, but a feeling somewhat akin to it, provoked by untoward events and inevitable happenings, such as the weather, accidents, etc. It is void of all spirit of revenge. Peevishness is chronic impatience, due to a disordered nervous system and requires the services of a competent physician, being a physical, ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... she complained with a smiling peevishness. ("Ye've got—ye've got remarkable eyebrows. The way they grow makes me feel all—all desperate.") "I've had a lie-down since four. You woke me up with your knocking. Dear, I've never been woken up ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... Scenes of Dalliance, and thought of her (as I said before) only as she was to administer to the Gratification of Desire; as that Desire flags, will, without her Fault, think her Charms and her Merit abated: From hence must follow Indifference, Dislike, Peevishness, and Rage. But the Man who brings his Reason to support his Passion, and beholds what he loves as liable to all the Calamities of human Life both in Body and Mind, and even at the best what must bring upon him new Cares and new Relations; such a Lover, I say, will form ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... the stranger's return to the borough had been so anxiously expected by his female companion. The disappointment occasioned by his non-arrival was manifested in the convalescent by inquietude, which was at first mingled with peevishness, and afterwards with doubt and fear. When two or three days had passed without message or letter of any kind, Gray himself became anxious, both on his own account and the poor lady's, lest the stranger ...
— The Surgeon's Daughter • Sir Walter Scott

... station. Almost culpably careless in all things that concerned his health and comfort, he spent his earnings for the welfare of his brothers, in order that an honourable posterity might carry on the name he bore, and which he made illustrious. We may smile at his peevishness in repudiating the title of sculptor after bearing it through so many years of glorious labour; but when he penned the letters I have quoted, he was the supreme artist of Italy, renowned as painter, architect, military ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... mixture of passion and peevishness, two things that seldom go together; but he would fret himself into a passion, and then through weariness of spirits cool into fretfulness, till he was sufficiently recovered to rise again into rage. This was the common course of his temper, ...
— A Description of Millenium Hall • Sarah Scott

... to be admitted in evidence before all others, we see no hope for the faithful and earnest historian; he must give himself up to swim as he may on the frothy stream of private letters, anecdotes, and pamphlets, the puppet of the ignorance, credulity, peevishness, spite, of any and ...
— Froude's History of England • Charles Kingsley

... same Follies; like a Person who is tir'd with seeing the same Tragi-Comedy continually acted. This sowres his Temper; And unless some favorable Incidents happen to mellow him, he resigns himself wholly to Peevishness.—By which Time he perceives that the World is quite tir'd of him.—After which he drags on the Remainder of his Life, in a State of War with ...
— An Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit, Humour, Railery, Satire, and Ridicule (1744) • Corbyn Morris

... whilst cutting their first set of teeth often suffer severe constitutional disturbance. At first there is restlessness and peevishness, with slight fever, but not infrequently these are followed by convulsive fits, as they are commonly called, which depends on the brain becoming irritated; and sometimes under this condition the child is either cut ...
— Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889 • Barkham Burroughs

... ourselves. They help us to forget the crossness of men and things, compose our cares and our passions, and lay our disappointments asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride or ...
— Many Thoughts of Many Minds - A Treasury of Quotations from the Literature of Every Land and Every Age • Various

... shadow His Holy heart; pampering their own wishes; "envying and grieving at the good of a neighbor;" unable to brook the praise of a rival; establishing their own reputation on the ruins of another; thus engendering jealousy, discontent, peevishness, and every kindred ...
— The Mind of Jesus • John R. Macduff

... accustomed to Mrs. Delarayne's occasional affectation of valetudinarian peevishness, alleged ill-health as a fact. As a rule it was the prelude to the request for a favour on a grand scale, and being a man of very great wealth, and therefore somewhat tight-fisted, he was always rendered unusually solemn by his friend's fits ...
— Too Old for Dolls - A Novel • Anthony Mario Ludovici

... with astonishing fortitude and composure. Nothing ruffled his temper or disturbed his serenity. His faculties were unclouded, his memory retentive, his perceptions clear to the last; no murmur of impatience ever escaped him, no querulous word, no ebullition of anger or peevishness; he was uniformly patient, mild, indulgent, deeply sensible of kindness and attention, exacting nothing, considerate of others and apparently regardless of self, overflowing with affection and kindness of manner and language to all around him, and exerting all his ...
— The Greville Memoirs (Second Part) - A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 - (Volume 1 of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... religion. Often, during the solemn hours of public worship, he beguiles our hearts with some scheme for doing good; taking care, however, that self be uppermost in it. When we are in a bad frame, he stirs up the unholy tempers of our hearts, and leads us to indulge in peevishness, moroseness, harshness, and anger, or in levity ...
— A Practical Directory for Young Christian Females - Being a Series of Letters from a Brother to a Younger Sister • Harvey Newcomb

... utterance of what Sainte-Beuve, I think, called "the discouraged generation of 1850." Now mere discouragement, except as a passing mood, though extremely natural, is also a little contemptible—pessimism-and-water, mere peevishness to the "fierce indignation," mere whining compared with the great ironic despair. As for Consolation, which in form as in matter strongly resembles part of the Strayed Reveller, I must say, at the ...
— Matthew Arnold • George Saintsbury

... which nodded with self-importance; the features, in which an irritable peevishness, acquired by habit and indulgence, strove with a temper naturally affectionate and good-natured; the coif; the apron; the blue-checked gown,—were all those of old Ailie; but laced pinners, hastily put on to meet the stranger, with some other trifling articles ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... big and burly like thyself, Thomas—nearly as thick-headed, but without thy indifference to danger and carelessness of offence? I tell thee that Austria has in all that mass of flesh no bolder animation than is afforded by the peevishness of a wasp and the courage of a wren. Out upon him! He a leader of chivalry to deeds of glory! Give him a flagon of Rhenish to drink with ...
— The Talisman • Sir Walter Scott

... must ever be a sunny place to him, and it should be a wife's most pleasant duty to drive for ever from his hearth-side those hideous sister spirits, discontent and gloomy peevishness. ...
— The Wedding Guest • T.S. Arthur

... and left me alone; and most scared of all was the fool: never earned jester fairer his ass's ears. So rubbed I their foible, who first rubbed mine; for of all a traveller's foes I dread those giants twain, Sir Noise, and eke Sir Stench. The saints and martyrs forgive my peevishness. Thus I write to thee in balmy peace, and tell thee trivial things scarce worthy ink, also how I love thee, which there was no need to tell, for well thou knowest it. And oh, dear Margaret, looking on their roses, which grew in summer, but ...
— The Cloister and the Hearth • Charles Reade

... everything; for you will constantly observe that you have the most leisure when you do the most business. Negligence of one's duty produces a self-dissatisfaction which unfits the mind for everything, and ennui and peevishness ...
— Famous Americans of Recent Times • James Parton

... attention was devoted to its appropriate training. The infants were encouraged from the beginning in the free use of their limbs, unhampered by swaddling-clothes, and were accustomed to endure without fear darkness and solitude, and to cure themselves of peevishness and crying. At the age of seven the boys were taken away from the charge of their parents, and put under the superintendence of a public official. Their education, on the intellectual side, was slight enough, comprising ...
— The Greek View of Life • Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

... their royal prerogative; but it is only a great king who can be weary gracefully. And Leopold was not a great king; indeed, he was many inches short of the ideal; but he was philosophical, and by the process of reason he escaped the pitfalls which lurk in the path of peevishness. ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... agency in managing a Negro: I know it tells powerfully upon white folks. The psalmist, addressing his Maker, says, "Thy gentleness hath made me great." It is a mighty lever; it moves the world; it moved it before Archimedes; it moves it still; but peevishness, fault-finding, scolding, cursing, premature censure, haughty and assuming ways, sullenness, ill-temper, whether in the field, the kitchen, the nursery, or parlor, will legitimately result in thriftlessness, revolt, departure, and contempt for white people! Many of the young generation have not ...
— Black and White - Land, Labor, and Politics in the South • Timothy Thomas Fortune

... unmilitary conduct" during the War of Independence, and accused his administration, since the new constitution, of "vanity," "ingratitude," "corruption," "bare-faced treachery," and "the tricks of a sharper." He closed this wretched outbreak of peevishness and wounded ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 26, December, 1859 • Various

... nae less!" said Caleb, with a peevishness he could not suppress. "I hae seen the day, Luckie, when worthy Mr. Cuffcushion and the service-book would hae served your turn (to the elder dame), or ony honest woman in ...
— Bride of Lammermoor • Sir Walter Scott

... of being beat up together. I was once apt to believe him a complete Cynic; and that nothing but the necessity of his occasions could compel him to get within the pale of society — I am now of another opinion. I think his peevishness arises partly from bodily pain, and partly from a natural excess of mental sensibility; for, I suppose, the mind as well as the body, is in some cases endued with ...
— The Expedition of Humphry Clinker • Tobias Smollett

... scenes of the battle-field. The evils of war have generally something to lighten the burden of them in a sense of necessity, or of rights or honour invaded; but there is nothing of like importance to alleviate the sufferings caused by fretfulness, impatience, want of temper. The excitable peevishness which kindles at trifles, that roughens the daily experience of a million families, that scatters its little stings at the table and by the hearth-stone, what does this but unmixed harm? What ingredient does it furnish but of gall? Its fine wounding may be of petty consequence in any ...
— Friends and Neighbors - or Two Ways of Living in the World • Anonymous

... we nowadays do, to call peevishness and inward discontent, that spring from private interest and passion, duty, nor a treacherous and malicious conduct, courage; they call their proneness to mischief and violence zeal; 'tis not the cause, but their interest, ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... his countenance was interesting and expressive. He began to speak and walk alone before he had completed his first year. His lively disposition gave ample employment to his nurses, though I cannot remember that he ever worried one, through peevishness or a fractious temper. As soon as he could talk distinctly, he evinced an aptitude to name things after his own fancy; and I may fairly say, that he was never a child in the common acceptation of the term, as he gave ...
— Successful Exploration Through the Interior of Australia • William John Wills

... principles, and on his manly and noble nature, that my love was founded, and these will never change;—and if, at times, unpleasant circumstances should arise, into which my sex and age unfit me to inquire to throw a cloud over his features, or a transient peevishness into his humour, it would ill become me—in short," continued she in a trembling voice, and throwing her arms around Lady Percy's neck, to conceal her tears, "in short, dear Madam, you must remember that ...
— Theresa Marchmont • Mrs Charles Gore

... at thy fate! For it is as natural for her to conquer, as 'tis for youth to yield; oh, she has fascination in her eyes! A spell upon her tongue, her wit's a philtre, and her air and motion all snares for heedless hearts; her very faults have charms, her pride, her peevishness, and her disdain, have unresisted power. Alas, you find it every day—and every night she sweeps the tour along and shews the beauty, she enslaves the men, and rivals all the women! How oft with pride ...
— Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister • Aphra Behn

... only human, but superhuman, and too altogether virtuous; and it remained true that home life may be lovely under the lowliest roof, although he liked to paint it without a shadow on its beauty there. It is still a fact that the sick are very often saintly, although he put no peevishness into their patience with their ills. His ethical intention told for manhood and fraternity and tolerance, and when this intention disappeared from the better holiday literature, that literature was sensibly the ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... to hear from those who have lived longer, of wrongs and falsehoods, of violence and circumvention; but such narratives are commonly regarded by the young, the heady, and the confident, as nothing more than the murmurs of peevishness, or the dreams of dotage; and, notwithstanding all the documents of hoary wisdom, we commonly plunge into the world fearless and credulous, without any foresight of ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson - Volume IV [The Rambler and The Adventurer] • Samuel Johnson

... sixty-one; his florid, healthy constitution promised long life, and his uninterrupted good fortune as long power; yet the one hastened his end, and the other was enjoyed in its full tranquillity but three poor years! i should not say, enjoyed, for such was his peevishness and suspicions, that the lightest trifles could poison all that stream of happiness! he was careless of his health, most intemperate in eating, and used no exercise. All this had naturally thrown him ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... in his heart. A stranger is at first unaware of the cause of the mental misery he endures; his temper sours as his spirits sink; every person, and every circumstance, annoys him; it affects even his dreams; sleep itself is not a refuge from querulous peevishness, and every motion is an ...
— The Mirror Of Literature, Amusement, And Instruction - Vol. X, No. 289., Saturday, December 22, 1827 • Various

... of seeing screws, denotes that tedious tasks must be performed, and peevishness in companions must be combated. It also denotes that you must be economical ...
— 10,000 Dreams Interpreted • Gustavus Hindman Miller

... my sursum-corda role. And didn't old Doctor Johnson say that peevishness was the vice of narrow minds? So here's where we tighten up the belt a bit. But we humans, who come into the world alone, and go out of it alone, are always hungering for companionship which we can't quite find. Our souls are islands, with a coral-reef of reserve built up about them. ...
— The Prairie Child • Arthur Stringer

... are too clear-sighted to neglect home duties, yet leave this difficulty unfaced, in that they look for all the pleasure of their life outside home, and within that home allow themselves to live in an atmosphere of friction and peevishness. The girl who does that has left the riddle of home life unsolved: she was meant to wrestle with that difficulty till she wrung from it the blessing, the peace which comes only from self-conquest and acceptance of all the ...
— Stray Thoughts for Girls • Lucy H. M. Soulsby

... of the high-strung, Southern-gentleman type, hot-tempered, impulsive, one of those apt to believe that "shooting" is the remedy for one's personal ills or injuries. The lines of his mouth betrayed selfishness and peevishness. ...
— The Winning Clue • James Hay, Jr.

... merrily sung the lark, when Lisardo quitted his bed-chamber at seven in the morning, and rang lustily at my outer gate for admission. So early a visitor put the whole house in commotion; nor was it without betraying some marks of peevishness and irritability that, on being informed of his arrival, I sent word by the servant to know what might be the cause of such an interruption. The reader will readily forgive this trait of harshness and precipitancy, on my part, when he is informed that I was then just enjoying the "honey dew" ...
— Bibliomania; or Book-Madness - A Bibliographical Romance • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... rest of his fellow-creatures, is fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, warmed and cooled by the same summer and winter." He will therefore, when narrowly observed, be unquestionably found betraying human weaknesses, and falling into fits of ill humour, spleen, peevishness and folly. No man is always a sage; no bosom at all times beats with sentiments lofty, self-denying and heroic. It is enough if he does so, "when the matter ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... of decay. In my seventy-fourth year, I am not sure that avarice may not lay hold of me, and tempt me to stay where I am, until I feel or am made to feel, by being told that I have stayed too long; and that peevishness too, an attendant upon old age, may not put an end to that command of temper, which I have ever endeavoured to preserve; and that, with such enemies to fair fame, I may soon impair and sully the character and esteem which I may at ...
— Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George the Third - From the Original Family Documents, Volume 1 (of 2) • The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... not seem to hear him. She leaned back in the corner of the sofa like a wooden figure. The immovable peevishness of the face, framed in the limp, rusty lace, had a ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... scarcely conceive. He would carry home on his shoulders a sick and starving girl from the streets. He turned his house into a place of refuge for a crowd of wretched old creatures who could find no other asylum; nor could all their peevishness and ingratitude weary out his benevolence. But the pangs of wounded vanity seemed to him ridiculous; and he scarcely felt sufficient compassion even for the pangs of wounded affection. He had seen and felt so much of sharp misery that he was not affected ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... he came in with a pleased exclamation, his voice had no longer the thin, worn sound, as if only resolute resignation prevented peevishness; there was a cheerfulness and solidity in the tone, as he came fondly to her side, regretted having missed her first appearance, and feared she ...
— Dynevor Terrace (Vol. II) • Charlotte M. Yonge

... exclaimed Mrs. Elliot. There was a touch of peevishness in her voice. "And we've had such a hunt to find you. Do you know ...
— The Voyage Out • Virginia Woolf

... be affable, and always superior to peevishness or ill-humor; he must not know, or at least seem not to know, what a spirit of resentment is; and when he is under the necessity of inflicting military chastisement, he must see the guilty punished without ...
— Elements of Military Art and Science • Henry Wager Halleck

... a sour, spiteful creature. The wrinkles of contempt crossed the wrinkles of peevishness, and made her face as full of wrinkles as a pat of butter. If ever a king could be justified in forgetting anybody, this king was justified in forgetting his sister, even at a christening. She looked very odd, too. Her forehead was as large as all the ...
— Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know • Various

... am parting with the most valuable possession on earth—a friend, and that I shall get nothing in return but a lover." Her suspicions were well founded: he had not enjoyed his double capacity long, when he showed a degree of peevishness, of which he had before thought himself incapable; as a friend he demanded her esteem; as a lover he claimed her undivided affection; and as a man of sense and education, he expected rational and pleasing conversation. ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, - Issue 332, September 20, 1828 • Various

... was turned upon Dicky again. He, to avoid it, glanced aside at Miss Diana. He found Miss Diana less unpleasant than her mother, but attractive only by contrast. She was a tall woman, handsome but somewhat haggard, with a face saved indeed from peevishness by its air of distinction, but scornful and discontented. She had been riding, and her long, close habit became her well, as did her wide-brimmed hat, severely trimmed with a bow of black ribbon and a single ...
— Lady Good-for-Nothing • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... and elaborate work of a Lexicon. A story has been raised to account for it, and it has been ascribed to the impatient interjection of the lexicographer to his scribe, who, taking no offence at the peevishness of his master, put it down in the Dictionary. The article alluded to is, "CONCURRO, to run with others; to run together; to come together; to fall foul of one another; ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... not been—besides Flavian, besides Cornelius even, and amid the solitude which in spite of ardent friendship he had perhaps loved best of all things—some other companion, an unfailing companion, ever at his side throughout; doubling his pleasure in the roses by the way, patient of his peevishness or depression, sympathetic above all with his grateful recognition, onward from his earliest days, of the fact that he was there at all? Must not the whole world around have faded away for him altogether, had he been left for one moment really alone in it?" One can see in ...
— Among Famous Books • John Kelman

... fingers, her glance was timidly reproachful. All this gave me great unhappiness, and I discovered, to my further distress, that in my attempt to return to the old familiar footing I was neglecting the committee and losing interest in the affairs of the library. A certain peevishness took possession of me; I was no longer myself, and I lost the gayety and sprightliness which had been ...
— The Romance of an Old Fool • Roswell Field

... when a boy does anything," sez I, with peevishness. "Now you set there an' think up all you can ...
— Happy Hawkins • Robert Alexander Wason

... you; there be times I am content, or if not, I can keep it all inside mostly. But there be times it will not tarry within, but comes right out, and then I'm so 'shamed of myself afterward. I marvel how it is that peevishness isn't like water and other things—when they come pouring out, they are out, and they are done; but the more peevishness comes out of you, the more there seems to be left in. 'Tis not oft, look you, it really comes right outside: that would be shocking! but 'tis a deal too often. And ...
— All's Well - Alice's Victory • Emily Sarah Holt

... a key, stood by the fire in the drawing-room. Mrs. Kent had excused herself and gone upstairs. In the dining-room, across the hall, he could see Kathleen gleaning over the supper table while the maid cleared away the dishes. In spite of his peevishness, he smiled to see her pick up one of the stuffed eggs on a fork, taste it, and lay it down with a grimace. At the other end of the drawing-room Mr. Kent, leaning on his cane, was rummaging ...
— Kathleen • Christopher Morley

... which lay hid under its usual courtly calm and sweetness; if there be a defect in the face, it is that the eyes are somewhat small, and close together, and the eyebrows, though delicately arched, and, without a trace of peevishness, too closely pressed down upon them, the complexion is dark, the figure tall and graceful; altogether the likeness of a wise and gallant gentleman, lovely to all good men, awful to all bad men; in whose presence none dare say or do a mean or a ribald ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... beau as I am. But my friend Horace has very well said: "Every year takes something from us;" and instructed me to form my pursuits and desires according to the stage of my life; therefore, I have no more to value myself upon, than that, I can converse with young people without peevishness, or wishing myself a moment younger. For which reason, when I am amongst them, I rather moderate than interrupt their diversions. But though I have this complacency, I must not pretend to write to a lady civil things, as Maria desires. Time was, ...
— Isaac Bickerstaff • Richard Steele

... Candide, "cultivating his garden" after a thousand disillusions; and holding fast, in spite of all, to the doctrines of some amazing Pangloss. Such encounters with such invincible derelicts must put us most wholesomely to shame. Our neurotic peevishness, our imaginary grievances, our vanity and our pride, are shown up at such moments ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... large coachman's coat flung off his shoulders and hanging down to his heels, a swallow-tail, tight pantaloons, and Hessian boots—extracting from his bosom his father's portrait and expressing filial sentiments to it. One was less likely to accuse Corinne of peevishness when one beheld the delineation of family worship in the Edgermond household from which she fled. And the faithful eyes remonstrated with the petulant brain for scoffing at excessive sentiment, when they saw how everybody was always at somebody else's feet, ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... an old source of peevishness with Paw Coburn, and he was moved to say—answering only by implication what she had unconsciously implied, and seeming to take his theme ...
— In a Little Town • Rupert Hughes

... to give up mine.' Whether this proceeded from a momentary indignation, as if it were an affront to his exalted merit that a player should be rewarded in the same manner with him, or was the sudden effect of a fit of peevishness, it was unluckily said, and, indeed, cannot be justified. Mr. Sheridan's pension was granted to him not as a player, but as a sufferer in the cause of government, when he was manager of the Theatre Royal in Ireland, when parties ran high in 1753[1139]. And it must also be allowed that he was a ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... himself for a nap, and the wash of a passing launch which flopped against the punt outside lulled him to sleep. . . . He was a prosaic old gentleman, that water rat, so his peevishness may be forgiven him. After all, a ham bone is a ham bone and pretty poor at that, and when one has been the father of several hundreds, the romantic side of life pales considerably in the light of ...
— Mufti • H. C. (Herman Cyril) McNeile

... my St. Julian, that I really felt those sentiments of filial sorrow which he ascribes to me. Never did any son sustain the loss of so indulgent a father. I have nothing by which to remember him, but acts of goodness and favour; not one hour of peevishness, not one instance of severity. Over all my youthful follies he cast the veil of kindness. All my imaginary wants received a prompt supply. Every promise of spirit and sensibility I was supposed to discover, was cherished with an anxious ...
— Italian Letters, Vols. I and II • William Godwin

... understood the cause of this peevishness, and remonstrated with Miss Ethel. "Shall we write a letter to Lucerne, and order Dick Tinto back again?" said her ladyship. "Are you such a fool, Ethel, as to be hankering after that young scapegrace, and ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... of features are signal marks of good-breeding. 12. The north wind is full of courage, and puts the stamina of endurance into a man. 13. The west wind is hopeful, and has promise and adventure in it. 14. The east wind is peevishness and mental rheumatism and grumbling, and curls one up in the chimney-corner. 15. The south wind is full of longing and unrest and effeminate suggestions ...
— Higher Lessons in English • Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg

... asparagus, for as the asparagus gives most excellent fruit from a thorny stalk, so the bride, by not being too reluctant and coy in the first approaches, will make the married state more agreeable and pleasant. But those husbands who cannot put up with the early peevishness of their brides, are not a whit wiser than those persons who pluck unripe grapes and leave the ripe grapes for others.[156] On the other hand, many brides, being at first disgusted with their husbands, ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... before he should go hence to be here no more. And there, I am assured and duly believe, no unbecoming regrets pursued him; no discontent, as for injustice suffered or expectations unfulfilled; no self-reproach for anything done or anything omitted by himself; no irritation, no peevishness unworthy of his noble nature; but instead, love and hope for his country, when she became the subject of conversation, and for all around him, the dearest and most indifferent, for all breathing things about him, the overflow of the kindest heart growing in gentleness and benevolence—paternal, patriarchal ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... like sharp wedges into the fissures and crevices. It was very well for a while; the young trees shot up like spires, and the roots bored down into the granite. But at last they could go no further, and then the wood was filled with an ill-concealed peevishness. It wished to go high, but also deep. After the way down had been closed to it, it felt that life was not worth living. Every spring it was ready to throw off the burden of life in its discouragement. During the ...
— Invisible Links • Selma Lagerlof

... my resolution, I repaired without my uncle's knowledge to the poet's house at an early hour, and after much difficulty was admitted to his room. He was still in bed. Every body has heard of Byron's peevishness, when disturbed or intruded on. He demanded my business in a petulant and offensive tone. I replied, respectfully, that on the preceding day I loaned him a silver pencil,—strongly emphasizing and repeating the word silver,—which, I was grieved to say, he forgot to return. ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... with the utmost tenderness and generosity. They were economical, and therefore could afford to be generous. All the wants of this destitute widow were supplied from the profits of their industry: they nursed her with daily humanity, bore with the peevishness of disease, and did all in their power to soothe the anguish ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. 2 • Maria Edgeworth

... and the rest of the Spanish kingdoms?—blown up. On the other side, where is the King of Spain's power in Holland?—blown up. Where is that of the Austrian princes in Switzerland?—blown up. This perpetual peevishness and jealousy, under the alternate empire of the prince and of the people, are obnoxious to every spark. Nor shall any man show a reason that will be holding in prudence, why the people of Oceana have blown up their King, but that their kings did ...
— The Commonwealth of Oceana • James Harrington

... who find all their happiness in children, husband and household. And of those who really enjoy their homes most are remarried after a divorce, or even after two or more. Our society suffers from a plague worse than the pestilence itself, a plague of greed for excitement, eagerness for novelty, of peevishness and fickleness. ...
— The Unwilling Vestal • Edward Lucas White

... the valley the men and women, and the very children whose voices I can just hear, are living by an outlook in which the values are different from those of easy-going people, and in which, especially, hardships have never been met by peevishness, but have been ...
— Change in the Village • (AKA George Bourne) George Sturt

... bulletins of Napoleon's health, produced an order from the governor for the arrest of O'Meara. There was a vast quantity of peevishness exercised on the subject, and Napoleon attempted to raise this trifling affair into a general quarrel of the commissioners. But on his declaring that he would no longer receive the visits of O'Meara while under arrest, the governor revoked the order, and O'Meara ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, No. 382, October 1847 • Various

... thicker in the parched air and stung more sharply their bloodshot, aching eyeballs. The dust settled smotheringly upon them, filled nostrils and lungs and roughened their patience into peevishness. A calf bolted from the herd, and a "hold-up" man pursued it vindictively, swearing by several things that he would break its blamed neck—only his wording was more vehement. A cinder got in Slim's eye and one would think, from his language, that such ...
— The Lonesome Trail and Other Stories • B. M. Bower

... sleep to the weary, nor in our opinion, a greater grievance than the loss of it; because wakefulness at those hours, which nature has destined for repose, is, in nine cases out of ten, sure to be the harbinger of peevishness, discontent, and ill humour, and not unfrequently induces languor, lassitude, and disease. No two individuals in the world have greater reason to complain of disturbed slumbers or nightly watching, than ourselves. Heretofore, this has been occasioned ...
— Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa • Robert Huish

... in every degree of disturbance from mere peevishness and fretfulness to severe and intensely painful attacks in which restlessness passes into grunting, writhing, and kicking; the forehead becomes puckered and the face has an agonized expression; the baby tends to scream violently and draws his thighs up against his belly, which will usually ...
— The Mother and Her Child • William S. Sadler

... prove from example that the pain of disappointment will be much increased by ill-temper, and that to yield to the force of necessity will be found wiser than vainly to oppose it. The contrast between the principal character with the peevishness of her cousins' temper is intended as an incitement to that placid disposition which will form the happiness of social life in every stage, and which, therefore, should not be thought beneath anyone's attention ...
— Forgotten Tales of Long Ago • E. V. Lucas

... he cried out: "Mother Carey, when I have done with my working life, and go into the Great Sleep, grant that it may never rain on me for I hate rain, and it has done nothing but pour all summer long." And he shivered the red knobs on his head with peevishness. ...
— Woodland Tales • Ernest Seton-Thompson

... in the spring of the year, Peggy happened to be peevish. The cause of her peevishness was a swarm of intensely active flies. Mr. Fry was accustomed to an occasional swish of her tail across his face. He even welcomed it, for the flies bothered him almost as much as they did Peggy. On mornings when he felt unusually ...
— Anderson Crow, Detective • George Barr McCutcheon

... Calyste loves her so that I foresee a total abandonment. When she hears of it she will be furious. Ah! I suffer such tortures that I cannot endure them long. I know when he is going to her, I know it by his joy; and his peevishness tells me as plainly when he leaves her. He no longer troubles himself to conceal his feelings; I have become intolerable to him. She has an influence over him as unhealthy as she is herself in soul and body. You'll see! ...
— Beatrix • Honore de Balzac

... peevishness of this remark, her friend continued: "Are you quite sure that you have not been more frequently than you would have been, if you had acted merely in reluctant obedience to the will of Phidias. I am not surprised that Philaemon is offended at your dancing with Alcibiades; assuredly a practice, so ...
— Philothea - A Grecian Romance • Lydia Maria Child

... you true; 'tis the fashion on my knowledge: Yet the good lord, to please your peevishness, Must put it ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 4, April 1810 • Various

... exquisite is this whole speech! And that profound nature of noble pride and grief venting themselves in a momentary peevishness of resentment ...
— Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher • S. T. Coleridge

... unapproachable, so inexorable in his authority and self-control, endures with a rare patience the proud, commanding bearing of Barbarina. Even yesterday evening when the king did me the honor to sup with me in the society of the Barbarina, in spite of her peevishness and ever-changing mood, he was the most gallant ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... with something of peevishness; "losses is losses: there's no use talking about 'em ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... Gospel, and my religion, and my hopes of heaven, and my charity to them, too; and still I sleep and digest, I eat and drink, I read and meditate.... And he that hath so many causes of joy, and so great, is very much in love with sorrow and peevishness, who loves all these pleasures, and chooses to sit down upon his little ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... and approached the man, who had by this time resumed his work, though after a listless fashion, turning over spadeful after spadeful, as if neither he nor the cabbages cared much, and all would be in good time if done by the end of the world. As he came nearer, Cosmo read peevishness and ill-temper in every line of his countryman's countenance, yet he approached him with confidence, for Scotchmen out of their own country are of good report for hospitality to ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... the peevishness, the jealousy of the elder brother in the close of the parable represent, in its most distinctive features, the character of the Jewish people and their leaders, in the beginning of the Gospel. One of their leading ...
— The Parables of Our Lord • William Arnot

... of Folly treats of serious Matters, in such a gay, familiar, ingenious and pleasant manner, as makes it a Work proper to be read by intelligent People, to remove out of their Minds all Bigotry contracted by Ignorance and an evil Education, all Peevishness, Hatred, and Ill-nature towards one another, on account of different Sentiments in Religion; and to form in them the natural Principles of Moderation, Humanity, Affection and Friendship. Our learned and ingenious ...
— A Discourse Concerning Ridicule and Irony in Writing (1729) • Anthony Collins

... you might talk to a sick child whose peevishness prolongs, unreasonably, its pain. Bartie's manner almost amounted to a public repudiation of her. The whole house vibrated to the shutting of his door at Good-night time. Yet when Bartie came down in the morning, late, and more ...
— The Tree of Heaven • May Sinclair

... chance. He was—he assured me—considered to be infinitely more useful than dangerous, and so . . . "But the Rajah is afraid of you abominably. Anybody can see that," I argued with, I own, a certain peevishness, and all the time watching anxiously for the first twist of some sort of ghastly colic. I was awfully disgusted. "If I am to do any good here and preserve my position," he said, taking his seat by my side in the ...
— Lord Jim • Joseph Conrad

... a detective out of a book," said Thornton, with a peevishness that his covering smile could not entirely conceal. "But I know you'll have your own way when you don't want to be too precise. How do you regard the burnt paper? ...
— The Grell Mystery • Frank Froest

... lord, and peevishness, have impaired your intellects, I think. What kind of language is this to hold to me, your son ...
— The Black Baronet; or, The Chronicles Of Ballytrain - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... Bossuet's energetic criticism; it is so free from breathless eagerness, and so severe without being thinly bitter. The churchmen of a generation or two later had fallen from this height into gloomy peevishness. ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... "Come, let us walk. It grows cold. I enjoy that, but it is not very safe for you. And, pardon me, dear friend, I spoke harshly just now. I told you I was getting old. Put my words down to the peevishness of old ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... him in that, especially in this exigent when his kingdom and person are in apparent danger, the world might see he is forced, contrary to his own inclination, to use extraordinary means rather than, by the peevishness of some few factious spirits, to suffer his state and ...
— Browning's England - A Study in English Influences in Browning • Helen Archibald Clarke

... of his peevishness her husband may be trying hard to minimize his defects and be a reasonable, ...
— Epilepsy, Hysteria, and Neurasthenia • Isaac G. Briggs

... practice, and conducting moral actions, while perverse conscience is seated in the fancy or affections—a heap of irregular principles and irregular defects—and is the same in conscience as deformity is in the body, or peevishness in the affections. It is not enough that the conscience be taught by nature; but it must be taught by God, conducted by reason, made operative by discourse, assisted by choice, instructed by laws and sober principles; and then it is right, and it may be sure. ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... or not asked at all. He was a greater figure and public servant than the Duke, and His Grace would not have suffered in dignity had he met Nelson on terms of equality. He could not have done less, at all events. On the other hand, the great Admiral showed a peevishness at the treatment which was unworthy of his fame and position; he could well afford to ignore the affront, more especially as he prided himself that the lady the Duke took exception to was "in the sight of Heaven his wife," and no one had any right to question ...
— Drake, Nelson and Napoleon • Walter Runciman

... set him at liberty and send him to Oxford. There he might have stayed, tortured by his own diabolical temper, hungering for Puritans to pillory and mangle, plaguing the Cavaliers, for want of somebody else to plague with his peevishness and absurdity, performing grimaces and antics in the cathedral, continuing that incomparable diary, which we never see without forgetting the vices of his heart In the imbecility of his intellect minuting down his dreams, counting the drops of blood which fell ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... married, I have pitied them from my heart. It is doubtless well—very well—if Fate decrees them a happy marriage; but, if otherwise, give their existence some object, their time some occupation, or the peevishness of disappointment and the listlessness of idleness will infallibly degrade ...
— Charlotte Bronte and Her Circle • Clement K. Shorter

... be it granted, was cantankerous; but how many sons who have never sponged on their mothers have supported them cheerfully, gladly, for long years out of meagre resources, and have borne with a smile the natural peevishness of old age, not to ...
— Balzac • Frederick Lawton

... Grosvenor with a suspicion of peevishness in his voice; "that is not very much. What do you think they mean to do with us? That is what I am trying to get at. Of course I remember that the gist of Mitchell's homily to us was: 'Don't go, if you value ...
— The Adventures of Dick Maitland - A Tale of Unknown Africa • Harry Collingwood

... allowance— though, by mixing a little spirits with the water, our food sustained us more than it would otherwise have done. Starvation, after a time, began to tell sadly on our tempers; and we, who had generally lived in good-fellowship with each other, spent the day in wrangling and peevishness. A breeze, however, had again sprung up, which seemed to steady the ship, though we could not keep her on her proper course. Such was the state of things, when one morning Mr Carr going on deck, as was his custom, to take a look-out, and to ...
— Old Jack • W.H.G. Kingston

... myself leaning to the latter supposition. Still, in grave doubt what part Bassompierre was to play, I looked for his coming as anxiously as anyone. And probably the King shared this feeling; but he affected indifference, and continued to sit over the fire with an air of mingled scorn and peevishness. ...
— From the Memoirs of a Minister of France • Stanley Weyman

... has fallen into an unrequited passion for him, and this accounts for her peevishness? Well, if she has, we have only Mr. SHAW'S word for it, and she gets no sympathy from us for her deplorable taste in men. There was another man who was always about the house, a man with a habit of courtesy, but this gallant soldier left her cold. Such is the perversity ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 22, 1914 • Various

... say," answered Sam, with something of peevishness; "losses is losses: there's no use talking about 'em when they're ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... of Europe' forgot common decency so far, that he made a jeering allusion to this instance of the Chancellor's domestic amiability. "I am not the sort of person," growled the prince with an outbreak of peevishness, "to let my hair grow under my wig to please my wife." With becoming dignity Eldon answered—"Your Royal Highness condescends to be personal. I beg leave to withdraw;" and suiting his action to his words, the Chancellor made a low bow to the angry prince, and ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

... speaker tries to enforce his own opinion by peevishness, whining, or complaining, with the result that he uses ...
— The Ontario High School Reader • A.E. Marty

... so, and that the beginnings of all Science are difficult to Children (who cannot like grown People fix their Attention) it is justly to befear'd that they should by the ill usage they receive from the impatience and peevishness of such Teachers, as Servants, or Young Tutors, take an Aversion to Learning (and we see in effect, that this very frequently happens). For the Teaching of little Children so as not to disgust them, does require much greater Patience and ...
— Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Christian life • Lady Damaris Masham

... to the woman's mouth, where the upper lip curved outward, from the base of the straight nose, giving her at first glance the appearance of pouting. Yet the heavier underlip, soft and wilful, contradicted this impression of peevishness, deepened it ...
— Never-Fail Blake • Arthur Stringer

... the leaves complaining to one another that they must die, and commiserating the hardness of their lot in having ever been induced to bud forth, we should, I imagine, despise them for their peevishness more than we should pity them. We should tell them that though we could not see reason for thinking that they would ever hang again upon the same-or any at all similar-bough as the same individual leaves, after they had once faded and fallen off, yet that as they ...
— God the Known and God the Unknown • Samuel Butler

... Oppression, after having brought forth several fair children, as Riches, Arts, Learning, Trade, and many others, was at last delivered of her youngest daughter, called Faction; whom Juno, doing the office of the midwife, distorted in its birth, out of envy to the mother, from whence it derived its peevishness and sickly constitution. However, as it is often the nature of parents to grow most fond of their youngest and disagreeablest children, so it happened with Liberty, who doted on this daughter to such a degree, that by her ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IX; • Jonathan Swift

... his humourous way, gives his friend an account of the Lady's peevishness and dejection, on receiving a letter with her clothes. He regrets that he has lost her confidence; which he attributes to his bringing her into the company of his four companions. Yet he thinks he must excuse them, and censure ...
— Clarissa, Volume 4 (of 9) - History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... house, and as frankly, kindly, and easily in a strange house as at home. In the middle classes, where the segregation of the artificially limited family in its little brick box is horribly complete, bad manners, ugly dresses, awkwardness, cowardice, peevishness, and all the petty vices of unsociability flourish like mushrooms in a cellar. In the upper class, where families are not limited for money reasons; where at least two houses and sometimes three or four are the rule (not to mention the clubs); where there is travelling and ...
— Getting Married • George Bernard Shaw



Words linked to "Peevishness" :   ill humor, peevish, distemper, ill humour, querulousness, ill nature, touchiness, testiness, tetchiness, pet



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