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 In particular, those pesky IgA levels may well be different. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Can vaccinated people still spread COVID-19? Here’s what we know.," 14 Jan. 2021 And not just the usual ones, promises to eat less and exercise more and be nicer to pesky co-workers. Carl Nolte,, "Sublime winter sunset sends a clear message: Better times ahead," 2 Jan. 2021 Take an hour to hit the high-traffic spots: Change the sheets, fluff up some fresh towels, clear areas like tables and benches of those pesky piles of stuff and do a high-speed sweeping. Casey Barber, CNN, "This New Year's Eve, enjoy a simple celebration at home," 30 Dec. 2020 Even diligent hosts can be prone to pesky water rings popping up days after, the moisture already lifting the wood stain to leave ghostly water stains. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Remove Water Stains from Wood," 28 Dec. 2020 Why does hyperpigmentation tend to be especially pesky for Black women/women with darker skin tones? Jasmine Grant, Essence, "A Black Dermatologist Explains How To Clear Up Those Stubborn Dark Spots," 11 Dec. 2020 Then, Nelson hoped some college might offer the diminutive, pesky point guard a scholarship. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "J.J. Barea’s last day with Mavs was a ‘thank you’ for championship glory and ‘see you later’ for future career," 10 Dec. 2020 The annual meteor shower will return once again this month, promising to put on a spectacular show in the Pacific Northwest – if only those pesky clouds would get out of the way. oregonlive, "Phenomenal Geminid meteor shower returns. Will Oregonians be able to see the show?," 9 Dec. 2020 He’s like a sweeter Justin Bieber, minus the pesky personal issues and neck tattoos; Ed Sheeran’s strummy sincerity repoured into 74 inches of clean Canadian marble. Leah Greenblatt,, "Shawn Mendes grows up, glows up on the love-struck Wonder: Review," 2 Dec. 2020

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

Time Traveler for pesky

Time Traveler

The first known use of pesky was in 1775

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pesky

Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pesky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pesky


How to pronounce pesky (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on pesky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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