\ ˈfə-sē \
fussier; fussiest

Definition of fussy 

1 : easily upset : irritable

2 : overly decorative a fussy wallpaper pattern

3a : requiring or giving close attention to details fussy bookkeeping procedures

b : revealing a sometimes extreme concern for niceties : fastidious, picky

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Other words from fussy

fussily \ˈfə-sə-lē \ adverb
fussiness \ˈfə-sē-nəs \ noun

Examples of fussy in a Sentence

I'm not fussy about where we eat. The room was cluttered and fussy.

Recent Examples on the Web

His young parents, scraping their living from a small tobacco farm, couldn’t cope with a fussy baby. Longreads, "The Bungled Bank Robbery That Ended in a Landmark Legal Ruling," 26 June 2018 But then Sherando’s kicker graduated, and the team couldn’t be fussy. Michael Farber, SI.com, "Mark Moseley, Last of the Straight-On Kickers," 2 July 2018 The country’s fussy monetary policy also reflects competing influences. The Economist, "Turkey’s central bank has streamlined its fight against inflation," 31 May 2018 The ugly: Falling off three separate billboards because ladders are fussy. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "State of Decay 2 review: Shambling toward nothing," 22 May 2018 Russia’s underpinnings industry is developing slowly by comparison, still focused on fussy lace and rigid wires. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "This Russian Lingerie Label Is Creating Cozy, Comfortable, and Sexy Underwear for All," 12 July 2018 There’s an odd mix of swashbuckling big moves and fussy small ones, such as the sawtooth windows that seem to bristle within 181 Fremont’s structural cage. John King, SFChronicle.com, "New nimble, frisky SoMa tower fits neatly into surroundings," 6 July 2018 Deep breaths and calming music or meditation tapes can help (a crying or fussy baby in the backseat can add to his stress). Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Husband and wife disagree over work-life balance," 29 June 2018 Rachael spent all day alone with a fussy baby, and Justin inevitably returned from work at his daughter’s most disconsolate hour. Anndee Hochman, Philly.com, "The Parent Trip: Rachael and Justin Pines of Fishtown," 27 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of fussy

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near fussy


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Statistics for fussy

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fussy

The first known use of fussy was in 1831

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More Definitions for fussy



English Language Learners Definition of fussy

: very careful or too careful about choosing or accepting things : hard to please

: often upset or unhappy

: too fancy or complicated


\ ˈfə-sē \
fussier; fussiest

Kids Definition of fussy

1 : inclined to complain or whine a fussy child

2 : hard to please His cat is fussy about food.

3 : overly decorated and complicated … that bed … is as enormous and fussy as mine. —E. L. Konigsburg, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

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Comments on fussy

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to make amends

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