tetchy

adjective \ ˈte-chē \

Definition of tetchy

tetchier; tetchiest
: irritably or peevishly sensitive : touchy
  • the tetchy manner of two women living in the same house
  • —Elizabeth Taylor †1975

tetchily

play \-chə-lē\ adverb

tetchiness

play \-chē-nəs\ noun

tetchy was our Word of the Day on 05/07/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of tetchy in a Sentence

  1. a morose and tetchy resident of a nursing home

Recent Examples of tetchy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tetchy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Tetchy is a word that may have been coined by Shakespeare - its first known use in English occurs in Romeo and Juliet (1592). Etymologists are not certain how the word came about, but some have suggested that it derives from "tetch," an obsolete noun meaning "habit." The similarity both in meaning and pronunciation to "touchy" might lead you to conclude that "tetchy" is related to that word, but there is no conclusive evidence to suggest such a connection. The adjectives "teched" and tetched, meaning "mentally unbalanced," are variations of "touched," and are probably also unrelated to "tetchy."

Origin and Etymology of tetchy

perhaps from obsolete tetch habit


TETCHY Defined for English Language Learners

tetchy

adjective

Definition of tetchy for English Language Learners

  • : becoming angry or annoyed easily



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