tes·​ty | \ ˈte-stē How to pronounce testy (audio) \
testier; testiest

Definition of testy

1 : easily annoyed : irritable
2 : marked by impatience or ill humor testy remarks

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Other Words from testy

testily \ ˈte-​stə-​lē How to pronounce testy (audio) \ adverb
testiness \ ˈte-​stē-​nəs How to pronounce testy (audio) \ noun

Examples of testy in a Sentence

that coworker would be easier to get along with if she weren't so testy all the time
Recent Examples on the Web My coverage partner, Andy Larsen, had a pregame exchange with Quin that, while not quite testy, was also not totally friendly, either. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Weekly Run: Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder less worried about buckets of missed 3s than the ‘little things’ leading to them," 30 Apr. 2021 Months of tense and often testy negotiations gradually whittled differences between the two sides down to three key issues: fair-competition rules, mechanisms for resolving future disputes and fishing rights. Raf Casert And Jill Lawless, USA TODAY, "Breakthrough: UK and EU reach post-Brexit trade agreement," 25 Dec. 2020 But many of his remarks appeared to be aimed at Washington, and follow a testy meeting between the two countries’ top diplomats last month in Anchorage, Alaska. Jonathan Cheng, WSJ, "China’s Xi Lays Out Vision for a World Without a Single Dominant Power," 20 Apr. 2021 Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell engaged Fowler, a medical expert for the defense, in a testy back-and-forth about the witness’s earlier description of an object inside Floyd’s mouth while Floyd was in Cup Foods. Washington Post, "Chauvin defense expert blames heart disease and drug use for George Floyd’s death," 15 Apr. 2021 This somewhat testy back-and-forth discussion of Scott’s underlying prior offense, despite its irrelevance to the analysis, illustrates a seeming discomfort with the nature of the categorical analysis itself. The Insider, Forbes, "The Man On The Street And The Layperson With Common Sense," 15 Apr. 2021 As the night wore on, the debate became testy, even as people acknowledged that each side was entrenched in its views. BostonGlobe.com, "As mass shootings roil the country, Rhode Island debates gun safety laws -- again," 13 Apr. 2021 In recent months, as the debate has shifted from the WHO to the WTO, reporters have drawn testy responses from Gates that harken back to his prickly performances before congressional antitrust hearings a quarter-century ago. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines," 12 Apr. 2021 Those lucky enough to be a part of history were treated to a 2-1 Thorns victory in an entertaining and testy match that featured 19 fouls, 14 shots, an NWSL-record four red cards and one near-fight. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "After ‘long, wild’ year away, fans return to professional sports in Portland," 10 Apr. 2021

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

1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for testy

Middle English testif, from Anglo-French, headstrong, from teste head — more at tester entry 2

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Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Testy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/testy. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of testy

: becoming angry or annoyed easily

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