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 testily (audio) \ adverb
testiness \ ˈte-​stē-​nəs How to pronounce testiness (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

The lawsuit was sparked by an incident last week in a post-election press conference with Mr. Trump when Mr. Acosta initially refused to surrender his microphone during a testy exchange. Byron Tau, WSJ, "Judge Grants CNN’s Motion to Restore Jim Acosta’s White House Press Pass," 16 Nov. 2018 And both led to complaints of miscommunication and disorganization and an occasional testy exchange with reporters. Paul Elias, The Seattle Times, "Back-to-back crises boost California sheriff’s profile," 28 Nov. 2018 Their warming relations come as ties between European Union nations and Turkey have become increasingly testy. Suzan Fraser And Ayse Wieting, chicagotribune.com, "Turkey, Russia deepen ties amid troubled relations with West," 2 Apr. 2018 On the other hand, this publicity has put heavy scrutiny on the company — Musk got testy with analysts and reporters on the company’s first quarter earnings call. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Elon Musk’s (probably serious) proposal to take Tesla private and the fallout, explained," 18 Aug. 2018 During an interview with reporters following the debate, Kucinich grew testy when asked about his decision to meet with Assad. cleveland.com, "Ohio Democratic governor candidates spar in fourth debate," 8 Mar. 2018 The ruling came after one-and-a-half days of arguments in which lawyers for Uber insisted the global ride-sharing app had completely overhauled its culture, passenger safety policies, and reset its testy relationship with the regulator. Fortune, "Uber Wins Appeal and Gets 15-Month License to Operate in London," 26 June 2018 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

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

1 Feb 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on testy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with testy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for testy

Spanish Central: Translation of testy

Nglish: Translation of testy for Spanish Speakers

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).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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