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

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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 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 And as often happens, President Donald Trump has made the political fallout for Republicans ever more ticklish. Alan Fram, Star Tribune, 22 Aug. 2020 Harry’s plan puts Charles in a ticklish spot faced by many parents, albeit on a much smaller financial scale. Washington Post, 17 Jan. 2020 Anyone who has willed themselves to not feel a tickle as ticklish can appreciate the difference between stimulation and our perception of it. Austin Frakt, New York Times, 2 Dec. 2019 The orchestra accomplished the most ticklish passages by trading off phrases within sections, spurred itself to a sprint for the finish line — and had enough energy for a Piazzolla encore. BostonGlobe.com, 15 Oct. 2019 Some anglers also found to their chagrin that those multiple hooks stuck in hands and legs just as quickly as in bass—unhooking an A-rig fish was ticklish business. Frank Sargeant, al, 29 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of ticklish

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

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Time Traveler for ticklish

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The first known use of ticklish was in 1581

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Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ticklish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ticklish. Accessed 2 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for ticklish



English Language Learners Definition of ticklish

: sensitive and easily tickled
: difficult to deal with : requiring special care


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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