By Louis Mainwaring Foster

Fill In the Blank

The young bull was (blank) and was easily provoked by the slightest action or noise.
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What Is the Word?

Querulous (adjective)
Complaining; irritable; peevish
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Queri (L.) "complain"
Quaero, Quaerere, Quaesivi, Quaesitum (L.) "to seek"
It originated in the 15th century. This word was used consistently from 1800 to the 1920s when use began to decrease. In recent years this word has resurfaced as use of it begins to increase again.


  • Fretful
  • Whining
  • Moaning
  • Aggravated


  • Patient
  • Tolerant
  • Calm
  • Complaisant

Practice Problems

Choose the letter of the sentence in which the word in bold-faced type is used incorrectly.
A. During the journey, the child revealed his querulous nature by consistently asking the driver the time until they would reach their destination.
B. The monk was querulous, following the orders of the elder he remained still for hours in the rain practicing his meditation without any objections..
C. The querulous hermit disliked the local children because the sounds of their laughter annoyed him.
D. The querulous, new miner was constantly moaning about the cramped space and lack of light in the tunnel.