tick·​lish | \ ˈti-k(ə-)lish How to pronounce ticklish (audio) \

Definition of ticklish

1 : sensitive to tickling
2 : requiring delicate handling a ticklish subject
3a : touchy, oversensitive ticklish about his baldness
b : easily overturned a canoe is a ticklish craft

Other Words from ticklish

ticklishly adverb
ticklishness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for ticklish



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Examples of ticklish in a Sentence

My feet are very ticklish. he's ticklish about his looks, so it's wisest to avoid the subject altogether
Recent Examples on the Web That turns out to be a pleasingly ticklish sensation. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 9 Sep. 2022 Disclosing sensitive issues regarding lawsuits can be very ticklish for a board or manager. Kelly G. Richardson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Jan. 2022 But the issue is ticklish: A lot of people, Mr. Bell says in introductory voiceover, were asked to participate in his four-part project. John Anderson, WSJ, 27 Jan. 2022 While a good portion of this year’s ballot is straightforward, there are three ticklish spots. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 27 Jan. 2022 That’s the likeliest candidate for the naming now, but there’s a ticklish problem. David Phelan, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 Bright eyes, cheeks that glow,Chubby fingers, ticklish toes,A playful grin, a perfect nose,Very special hair and clothes. BostonGlobe.com, 16 July 2021 The researchers, who worked with young male rats (the most ticklish group), first wanted to confirm the previous findings. Catherine Caruso, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2016 Many mammal species are sensitive to the light, ticklish annoyance of an insect crawling across their skin, but fewer respond to gargalesis—intense, laughter-inducing tickling. Catherine Caruso, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2016 See More

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

First Known Use of ticklish

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

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The first known use of ticklish was in 1581

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ticklish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ticklish. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for ticklish


tick·​lish | \ ˈti-klish How to pronounce ticklish (audio) \

Kids Definition of ticklish

1 : sensitive to tickling
2 : calling for careful handling a ticklish situation

More from Merriam-Webster on ticklish

Nglish: Translation of ticklish for Spanish Speakers


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