Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Querulous \Quer"u*lous\, a. [L. querulus and querulosus, fr. queri to complain. Cf. Cry, v., Quarrel a brawl, Quarrelous.]
Given to quarreling; quarrelsome. [Obs.]
Apt to find fault; habitually complaining; disposed to murmur; as, a querulous man or people.
Enmity can hardly be more annoying that querulous, jealous, exacting fondness.
Expressing complaint; fretful; whining; as, a querulous tone of voice.
Syn: Complaining; bewailing; lamenting; whining; mourning; murmuring; discontented; dissatisfied. [1913 Webster] -- Quer"u*lous*ly, adv. -- Quer"u*lous*ness, n.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
c.1400, from Old French querelos "quarrelsome, argumentative" and directly from Late Latin querulosus, from Latin querulus "full of complaints, complaining," from queri "to complain." Retains the original vowel of quarrel (n.1). Related: Querulously; querulousness.
a. Often complaining; suggesting a complaint in expression; fret, whine.
Usage examples of "querulous".
Miss Pole, Miss Matty, and I, meanwhile attended to Miss Brown: and hard work we found it to relieve her querulous and never-ending complaints.
Now the slurred tongue was querulous, edging on a whine like an overtired child.
The pipes under pent of the crag, Where the goatherds in piping recline, Have whimsical stops, burst and flag Uncorrected as outstretched swine: For the fingers are slack and unsure, And the wind issues querulous:- thorns And snakes!
And these were the furled, attenuated blooms of winter, born out of due season and nurtured in stoked warmth, like the delicate children of kings, and emanating a faint reluctant scent like the querulous sweet smile of an invalid.
Certain that America was going the way of imperial Rome, James Warren had turned tiresomely sour and querulous.
He sounded bewildered and unfocused, and had the querulous voice of a much younger boy.
When they finally connected a few days later, Christon told him frankly, if gently, that he found his delivery somewhat querulous and unpleasant.
As Aramina turned back to the fire, she heard her father's querulous voice.
The querulous clangors of the gongs died suddenly in Ignar-Vath, and left a weirdly whispering silence.
Never would they have established separate residences, nor would they have contemplated divorce, for such things weren't done in good society, but there was a collective sense of relief among the when, after years of querulous illnesses and convalescences, Mildred Edgihoffer settled into a serious kidney condition, and died.
The venator made a querulous clucking noise, then shrieked again as the cage slid on its bottom plate, caught once more, and toppled from the side of the truck, torquing the runway.
He seemed a harmless enough man, fussy, narrow, a little querulous perhaps, bristling with academic rivalries.
And so we have this critical problem, as I say, this critical problem as human beings, of seeing to it that the mythology -- the constellation of sign signals, affect images, energy-releasing and -directing signs -- that we are communicating to our young will deliver directive messages qualified to relate them richly and vitally to the environment that is to be theirs for life, and not to some period of man already past, some piously desiderated future, or -- what is worst of all -- some querulous, freakish sect or momentary fad.
Tigwood's voice, pompous as ever, full of bogus fruitiness, was also defensive and querulous.
There are musty old querulous voices that once belonged to winged creatures from an Antares planet, and slugs from a globular cluster.