PET n. 3

Offence at being or feeling slighted; a fit of peevishness or ill humour from this cause, (now) esp. a childish sulk. Frequently in in a pet. Also to take (the) pet: to take offence, to become bad-tempered or sulky (now rare, perhaps obsolete).  (from )

OED Online. Oxford University Press, December 2020. Web. 29 January 2021.

Quotations and Authors:

And set to work millions of spinning worms,
That in their green shops weave the smooth-haired silk,
To deck her sons; and, that no corner might
Be vacant of her plenty, in her own loins
She hutched the all-worshipped ore and precious gems,
To store her children with. If all the world 720
Should, in a pet of temperance, feed on pulse,
Drink the clear stream, and nothing wear but frieze,
The All-giver would be unthanked, would be unpraised,
Not half his riches known, and yet despised;

Comus Milton, John 1634

Go to the Quotation in the original text.

Who cause the proud their visits to delay,
And send the godly in a pet to pray
A nymph there is, that all thy pow’r disdains, 65
And thousands more in equal mirth maintains.

The Rape of the Lock Pope, Alexander 1712

I remember, that I was once so enraged at a game chicken that was continually pecking at another (a poor humble one, as I thought him) that I had the offender caught, and without more ado, in a pet of humanity, wrung his neck off. What followed this execution? Why that other grew insolent, as soon as his insulter was gone, and was continually pecking at one or two under him. Peck and be hanged, said I,–I might as well have preserved the first, for I see it is the nature of the beast.

Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Richardson, Samuel 1748

She flung the tea back, spoon and all, and resumed her chair in a pet; her forehead corrugated, and her red under-lip pushed out, like a child’s ready to cry.

Wuthering Heights Brontë, Emily 1847

At last, the Yankee cast a damper on his enthusiasm by exclaiming, in a pet, “Oh! dumn your singing! keep quiet, and pull away!” This we now did, in the most uninteresting silence; until, with a jerk that made every elbow hum, the root dragged out; and most inelegantly, we all landed upon the ground. The doctor, quite exhausted, stayed there; and, deluded into believing that, after so doughty a performance, we would be allowed a cessation of toil, took off his hat, and fanned himself.

Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas Melville, Herman 1847

Oh! that was the rock on which you split, poor Harry! Incensed at the want of polite refinement in the mates and crew, Harry, in a pet and pique, only determined to provoke them the more; and the storm of indignation he raised very soon overwhelmed him.

Redburn. His First Voyage Melville, Herman 1849

Explore the Quotation and other instances of Pet in Melville.

“Pray proceed with it quickly, if you please, Major Dobbin,” said Amelia, who was more and more in a pet. The expression of Dobbin’s face, as she spoke in this imperious manner, was not pleasant.

Vanity Fair Thackeray, William Makepeace 1848