SKIP TO CONTENT

fretfulness

Fretfulness is a state of being extremely irritable or anxious. A baby's fretfulness may be caused by hunger, while your fretfulness might come from the big test you have tomorrow.

Your inability to relax, and that tendency to fidget and snap at people? That's fretfulness. Fretfulness can be caused by anything that provokes worry, irritation, or discomfort, so it's normal to experience fretfulness when you're waiting for news after a big election or watching your favorite basketball team play in overtime. Fretfulness comes from fret, "worry," and its Old English root meaning "devour or consume." So if you're devoured by worry, chalk it up to fretfulness.

Definitions of fretfulness
  1. noun
    an irritable petulant feeling
    synonyms: choler, crossness, fussiness, irritability, peevishness, petulance
    see moresee less
    types:
    testiness, tetchiness, touchiness
    feeling easily irritated
    pet
    a fit of petulance or sulkiness (especially at what is felt to be a slight)
    type of:
    distemper, ill humor, ill humour
    an angry and disagreeable mood
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week