A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1473

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1473

Peévish. adj. [This word Junius, with more reason than he commonly discovers, supposes to be formed by corruption from perverse; Skinner rather derives it from beeish, as we say waspish.] Petulant; waspish; easily offended; irritable; irascible; soon angry; perverse; morose; querulous; full of expressions of discontent; hard to please.

For what can breed more peevish incongruities,
Than man to yield to female lamentations.

She is peevish, sullen, froward,
Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty.

If thou hast the metal of a king,
Being wrong'd as we are by this peevish town,
Turn thou the mouth of thy artillery,
As we will ours, against these saucy walls.

                I will not presume
To send such peevish tokens to a king.

Those deserve to be doubly laugh'd at, that are peevish and angry for nothing to no purpose. L'Estrange.

Neither will it be satire or peevish invective to affirm, that infidelity and vice are not much diminished. Swift.

Sources: Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 1 (48) · Junius, Francis (23) · Shakespeare's King John (43) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Skinner, Stephen (55) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona (41)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Peevish." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 11, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/peevish/.

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