Learn English – Difference between ‘truculent’ and ‘petulant’


I am confused with the two words 'truculent' and 'petulant'. I consulted with MW dictionary.

Truculent: easily annoyed or angered and likely to argue

Petulant: having or showing the attitude of people who becomes angry or annoyed when they do not get what they want

My understanding is that both words mean bad-tempered. Possibly only difference, I can think of, is that if you are petulant your anger is kind of 'justified'. Is my understanding correct?

I still feel that the difference between the meanings of two words is very little. I will be glad if someone can highlight any other marked difference between them.

Best Answer

Actually there's considerable difference between petulant and truculent.

One definition the OED gives for petulant is:

Exhibiting or prone to peevish impatience or irritability, esp. over trivial matters; childishly sulky or bad-tempered.

Truculent is defined by Google as:

eager or quick to argue or fight; aggressively defiant.