- Full of spleen; spiteful.
17th C., John Dryden (1631-1700), The Poetical Works of John Dryden, Vol I:
- The spleenful Pigeons never could create A prince more proper to revenge their hate: Indeed, more proper to revenge, than save; A king, whom in his wrath the Almighty gave: For all the grace the landlord had allow'd, 1200 But made the Buzzard and the Pigeons proud; Gave time to fix their friends, and to seduce the crowd.
1893, Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore, A Comedy of Masks:
- His fluency was as remarkable as ever, and at first as spleenful; by-and-by his outrageous mood gave way, and, in response to some of Rainham's adroit thrusts, he condescended to stand on his defence.
1920, Various, Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 158, April 28, 1920:
- Miss MARY JERROLD was just the perfect BARRIE mother (of Mary Rose). Mr. ARTHUR WHITBY'S parson, Mr. NORMAN FORBES' squire, Miss JEAN CADELL'S housekeeper, left no chinks in their armour for a critic's spleenful arrow.