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From Old French querelos, from Late Latin querulōsus, from Latin querulus, from queror (I complain).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkwɛɹ(j)ʊləs/
  • Audio (Southern England):(file)
  • IPA(key): /ˈkwɛɹ(j)ələs/, /ˈkwiːɹ(j)ələs/



querulous (comparative more querulous, superlative most querulous)

  1. Often complaining; suggesting a complaint in expression; fretful, whining.
    • 1820, [Walter Scott], chapter XI, in The Abbot. [], volume III, Edinburgh: [] [James Ballantyne & Co.] for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, []; and for Archibald Constable and Company, and John Ballantyne, [], →OCLC, page 350:
      “Nay, you said as much before,” said the querulous old man, “and yet I was put forth from Kinross, and pillaged by troopers on the road.—[]
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter IX, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume I, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 101:
      "But how am I to obtain such treaty?" asked Monsieur, in a querulous tone.
    • 1922, A. M. Chisholm, A Thousand a Plate:
      The nights were now cold, gemmed with a multitude of bright stars, uncanny with the querulous wail of coyotes and the occasional deep voices of wolves.
    • 2022 December 14, David Turner, “The Edwardian Christmas getaway...”, in RAIL, number 972, page 35:
      In contrast, the Westminster Gazette in 1912 was much more positive about railway staff, praising the "...army of porters hustling and bustling hither and thither with barrows groaning under the weight of bags and baggage and... the ever-patient and long-suffering guards, courteously giving information and advice to the querulous passengers... to the porter the Christmas season means a continuous round of heavy labour, extremely tiring to both nerves and temper, and this fact the public too often seem either to forget or ignore."



Derived terms