pes·​ky | \ ˈpe-skē How to pronounce pesky (audio) \
peskier; peskiest

Definition of pesky

: troublesome, vexatious pesky issues

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of pesky in a Sentence

I've been trying to get rid of this pesky cold for weeks. the pesky problem of what to do with all the leftovers

Recent Examples on the Web

Use an antioxidant-rich daily serum to help brighten skin's appearance all over, including those pesky marks. Alexandra Engler, Marie Claire, "From Topical Treatments to Lasers, Your Complete Guide to Treating Dark Spots," 7 Mar. 2017 The Huskies had to work for it as pesky Buffalo rallied from a 24-point, third-quarter deficit to get within eight in the fourth before the Huskies won by 12. Doug Feinberg, The Seattle Times, "Half the Sweet 16 is set in women’s NCAA Tournament," 25 Mar. 2019 But, even with the couple ditching the after show party together, as well as the photographic proof of a friendship between the two women, everyone is still focusing on those pesky love triangle rumors. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Bradley Cooper's Ex-Wife Posted a Cryptic Response to His Relationship With Lady Gaga," 26 Feb. 2019 Part of the exercise involved evaluating counter-drone weapon systems designed to keep the pesky, often improvised weapons at arm’s length. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Microwave and Laser Weapons Knock Drones Out of the Sky," 26 Mar. 2018 By Douglas Rushkoff Norton, 243 pages, $23.95 The book, indeed, rarely pauses to consider pesky counterexamples to such grand claims. Steven Poole, WSJ, "‘Team Human’ Review: Users of the World, Unite!," 25 Jan. 2019 As any hair dye devotee who has tried to keep those pesky dark roots at bay and maintain some semblance of color consistency can attest, a successful transition to ice-blonde is a job best left to the professionals. Roberta Gorin-paracka, Teen Vogue, "Lady Gaga's Colorist Patti Song on Achieving Her Signature Blonde Hair," 29 Dec. 2018 Bankers got a break from the pesky rules written in the shadow of the financial crisis to protect the little guy. New York Times, "The Profound Social Cost of American Exceptionalism," 29 May 2018 Now the pesky Permian is blighting Iranian hopes again. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "How American Fracking Changes the World," 26 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of pesky

1775, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pesky

probably irregular from pest + -y entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pesky

Dictionary Entries near pesky






peso boliviano


Statistics for pesky

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pesky

The first known use of pesky was in 1775

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pesky



English Language Learners Definition of pesky

US, informal : making someone annoyed or irritated


pes·​ky | \ ˈpe-skē How to pronounce pesky (audio) \
peskier; peskiest

Kids Definition of pesky

: troublesome sense 1 pesky ants

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pesky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pesky

Spanish Central: Translation of pesky

Nglish: Translation of pesky for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pesky

What made you want to look up pesky? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!