A peeve is an annoyance, and a pet peeve is an annoyance that’s nurtured like a pet — it's something someone can never resist complaining about. There are all kinds of pet peeves, like littering, misusing punctuation, driving slowly in the fast lane, or talking during movies. If something like that drives you crazy and you have to yap about it, it's a pet peeve. Pet peeves tend to be smaller issues. No one would call terrorism a pet peeve.