\ 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 Achieving a win may mean that touchy subjects, such as attacks on the candidates' children, will be on full display for a national audience. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "Trump v. Biden: Get your popcorn ready," 29 Sep. 2020 The international negotiations are often touchy, time consuming and incremental. Washington Post, "The U.S. will leave the Paris climate accord on Nov. 4. But voters will decide for how long.," 30 Oct. 2020 The role of religious influence is particularly touchy. Washington Post, "Despite 10-day assault in Helmand, Afghan Taliban accuses U.S. military of violating February accord," 18 Oct. 2020 The bulk of the messages went unreturned, leaving the kind of awkward silence that lingers when a touchy subject is raised. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Jim Harbaugh and the uncomfortable truth of his Michigan football tenure," 18 Oct. 2020 Negotiations with Emperor Shoe Repair were touchy, because the owner had secured a 50-year lease. Star Tribune, "Lileks: Oh, sure, we'd miss the IDS, at first," 16 Oct. 2020 The boards in general are a touchy subject in our community. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville businesses are taking boards off windows, but first artists are painting them," 15 Oct. 2020 This is always a touchy subject for communitarians. Yuval Levin, WSJ, "‘The Upswing’ Review: Bowling Alone No More?," 9 Oct. 2020 Great, except the touchy colt then wheeled around sharply in the winner’s circle and flattened a surprised Baffert. Childs Walker,, "After a tumultuous start to 2020, trainer Bob Baffert is back in Baltimore, seeking his record eighth Preakness victory," 2 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for touchy

Time Traveler

The first known use of touchy was in 1602

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Statistics for touchy

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Touchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on touchy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for touchy

Nglish: Translation of touchy for Spanish Speakers

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