\ ˈtə-chē How to pronounce touchy (audio) \
touchier; touchiest

Definition of touchy

1 : marked by readiness to take offense on slight provocation he's a little touchy about his past
2 : calling for tact, care, or caution in treatment a touchy subject
3a of a body part : acutely sensitive or irritable
b of a chemical : highly explosive or inflammable

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Other Words from touchy

touchily \ ˈtə-​chə-​lē How to pronounce touchily (audio) \ adverb
touchiness \ ˈtə-​chē-​nəs How to pronounce touchiness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for touchy



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Examples of touchy in a Sentence

Don't be so touchy. I was just kidding. watch what you say around him, as he's very touchy about every little thing
Recent Examples on the Web Sinatra, a rather touchy and somewhat bigoted codger in these pages, earned as much as $100,000 a week for his residency at Caesars Palace. The Economist, "When the King saved Vegas," 11 July 2019 The topic is very touchy, and the USDA Dietary Guidelines and the American Heart Association still recommend limiting your intake and opting for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead. SELF, "19 Healthy, High-Fat Foods to Keep You Full and Satisfied," 8 Aug. 2019 Hence, their proposals for a bigger claims pool, putting representatives of a future wildfire claims fund and customers on PG&E’s board and committing PG&E to honor existing renewable-energy supply contracts (a touchy subject). Washington Post, "PG&E Needs New Money, Not New Obligations," 27 June 2019 Using a trustee’s business as a measure of his or her suitability to serve, which means in this case to hold power, is exceedingly touchy. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Museum Happenings: Protesters Stage a Die-In in NYC, and Students Accuse Staff of Racism in Boston," 25 June 2019 But lately, people have been writing me on an extremely touchy subject. John Kass,, "Column: A hateful green patch of sod where my tomatoes once grew," 26 July 2019 Get our daily newsletter Now Canada’s touchy relations with the two superpowers are echoed in a strained relationship with India, where a visit by Justin Trudeau last year was marred by diplomatic gaffes. The Economist, "Foreign policyCanada is feeling lonely, but its place internationally is still strong," 25 July 2019 On the way back from this drop-off, Janice got a little too close to the touchy blackbird’s personal space. Kelli Bender,, "Amateur Photographer Captures Amazing Photo of Blackbird Riding on Bald Eagle's Back," 10 July 2019 Then the touchy question, the one nobody wants to answer straight. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Lobstermen Go Racing," 30 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'touchy.' 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 touchy

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for touchy

Last Updated

22 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for touchy

The first known use of touchy was in 1602

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More Definitions for touchy


How to pronounce touchy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of touchy

: easily hurt or upset by the things that people think or say about you
: likely to cause people to become upset


\ ˈtə-chē How to pronounce touchy (audio) \
touchier; touchiest

Kids Definition of touchy

1 : easily hurt or insulted She's touchy about her weight.
2 : calling for tact or careful handling a touchy subject

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More from Merriam-Webster on touchy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for touchy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with touchy

Spanish Central: Translation of touchy

Nglish: Translation of touchy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on touchy

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


to engage in dissolute behavior

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