pris·​sy | \ ˈpri-sē How to pronounce prissy (audio) \
prissier; prissiest

Definition of prissy

: overly prim and precise : finicky

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Other Words from prissy

prissily \ ˈpri-​sə-​lē How to pronounce prissily (audio) \ adverb
prissiness \ ˈpri-​sē-​nəs How to pronounce prissiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of prissy in a Sentence

She was too prissy to wear jeans.
Recent Examples on the Web People are choosing to be prissy about the rough-and-tumble of politics. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Rory Stewart Insists that Brexit Is Different from Trump," 12 June 2019 But Roth was too moralistic, too observant at the high altar of modernism, too prissy to get into the funk and gunk of true swingdom. James Wolcott, Vanities, "The Joy of Reading Philip Roth, Riffer, Rhetorical Flamethrower, Super-Monologuist," 24 May 2018 Elves, on the other hand, seem to be prissy, elitist and vapid. Mark Kennedy, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Dreadful ‘Bright’ destroys the buddy-cop genre," 22 Dec. 2017 The soprano Sally Matthews brings a radiant voice and natural allure to Silvia de Ávila, a young widowed aristocrat who has a strangely close relationship with her prissy brother, Francesco (the vibrant countertenor Iestyn Davies). Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, "Review: If You See One Opera This Year, Make It ‘The Exterminating Angel’," 27 Oct. 2017 And thankfully, the story line does not take the prissy Southern woman, married to a preacher, in a stereotypical direction. Matthew J. Palm,, "'Gay Jeopardy' at Orlando Fringe Festival," 23 May 2017 Dykes makes Roz, a repressed and prissy schoolmarm — Aidy Bryant doing an impression of Margaret Dumont — ridiculous, yet hiding a volcano of lust underneath. Hampton Stevens,, "MET’s well-acted ‘9 to 5: The Musical’ feels like an homage to Dolly Parton," 15 May 2017 Yeah, complaining about dupes is prissy, but this is crazy. Rob Beschizza, WIRED, "Dozens Submit GoDaddy DNS Failure to Digg," 11 Mar. 2007

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prissy.' 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 prissy

1894, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prissy

probably blend of prim and sissy

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Time Traveler for prissy

Time Traveler

The first known use of prissy was in 1894

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Cite this Entry

“Prissy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for prissy


How to pronounce prissy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of prissy

informal + disapproving : having or showing the annoying attitude of people who care too much about dressing and behaving properly and who are easily upset by other people's behavior, language, etc.

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Nglish: Translation of prissy for Spanish Speakers

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