feisty

adjective \ ˈfī-stē \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of feisty

feistier; feistiest
1 chiefly Southern US and Midland US
a : full of nervous energy : fidgety
c : exuberantly frisky
2 : having or showing a lively aggressiveness : spunky
  • the movie's feisty heroine

feistiness

noun

feisty was our Word of the Day on 11/27/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of feisty in a Sentence

  1. I was feisty, because people misinterpret what country music is, just like they think Southerners are a bunch of hicks. —Wynonna Juddquoted in Rolling Stone8-22 July 1993
  2. Humorist Cynthia Heimel never plays it safe, bless her feisty little heart. She's outrageous and hilarious, daring to say exactly what she and millions of other women really think … —Donna SeamanBooklist15 May 1993
  3. … Milwaukee was the last major industrial city to elect a Socialist mayor—Frank P. Zeidler, a feisty octogenarian who teaches today at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee … —Charles P. PierceVillage Voice10 Mar. 1992
  4. She never tired of hearing anecdotes from her childhood, and she particularly liked to hear how feisty she had been … —Lorene CaryBlack Ice1991
  5. The novel features a feisty heroine.

  6. Even her opponents admire her feisty spirit.

Recent Examples of feisty from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'feisty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

In certain parts of the United States, most notably the South, the noun feist (pronounced to rhyme with heist) refers to a small dog used in hunting small game animals (such as squirrels). Also spelled fice or fyce, it comes from an obsolete term, "fisting hound," that derived from another obsolete term, fist, a verb that once meant "to break wind." The term feisty has come a long way from its flatulent origin, but its small-dog association still seems relevant: the term conveys the spunk and determination that one may associate with a dog that manages to make its presence known (either through its bark or its bite) despite its small size.

Origin and Etymology of feisty

see feist


FEISTY Defined for English Language Learners

feisty

adjective

Definition of feisty for English Language Learners

  • : not afraid to fight or argue : very lively and aggressive



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