PEE’VISH. 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. Sidney.
She is peevish, sullen, froward,
Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty. Shakesp.
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. Shakesp.
I will not presume
To send such peevish tokens to a king. Shakesp.
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.