tes·ty | \ˈte-stē \
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 \ adverb
testiness \ˈte-stē-nəs \ 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

Those tensions boiled over in recent days during testy presidential phone calls with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trudeau and Macron. Damian Paletta, BostonGlobe.com, "France’s Macron threatens rare rebuke of US at G7, Trump fires back," 8 June 2018 Trump’s relationship with Mexico might be even testier, with Trump ordering the deployment of the National Guard to the Mexican border in April to confront undocumented immigrants. Emma Scornavacchi, The New Republic, "Amidst a war of words, North America wins the 2026 World Cup.," 13 June 2018 Coming on the heels of a testy NATO summit, the sight of the American president nodding along would make his nominal allies squirm. The Economist, "Vladimir Putin’s hopes for his long-awaited meeting with Donald Trump," 14 July 2018 Wagner turned testy when asked about the event during a town hall meeting Wednesday in Westmoreland County, accusing the questioner of trying to embarrass him. Chris Brennan, Philly.com, "Nancy Pelosi pals around with convicted tax dodger at Dems fundraiser in Philly," 13 July 2018 With some 60 likenesses by a notoriously testy, people-aversive artist-rebel, this is the largest gathering of its kind in a century. New York Times, "23 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 2018 For a few years, Tinder and Bumble coexisted—and were even reported to be in on-and-off acquisition talks last year—but things recently turned testy. Leigh Gallagher, Fortune, "Match Is the Sweetheart of Online Dating—But Can It Fend Off Facebook and Bumble?," 27 June 2018 Over the last year, the business people and residents in these two sections of South L.A. have pursued an increasingly testy — but so far futile — campaign of emails, phone calls and meetings beseeching the city for relief. Doug Smith, latimes.com, "Encampments take root in South L.A. Here's why clearing them out is so difficult," 10 June 2018 During a joint press conference on Friday with U.K. prime minister Theresa May, President Donald Trump refused to take a question from CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta in a testy exchange with a frequent adversary of his White House. Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "Trump in U.K.: "I Don't Take Questions From CNN"," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for testy

Last Updated

27 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for testy

The first known use of testy was in 1523

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English Language Learners Definition of testy

: becoming angry or annoyed easily

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Comments on testy

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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