touchier; touchiest
: marked by readiness to take offense on slight provocation
he's a little touchy about his past
: calling for tact, care, or caution in treatment
a touchy subject
of a body part : acutely sensitive or irritable
of a chemical : highly explosive or inflammable
touchily adverb
touchiness noun

Example Sentences

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 Hilarious, and touchy, and classy. Andy Hoglund,, 3 Oct. 2021 Other cultural issues are also touchy. Kevin Lee, The New Republic, 8 Aug. 2022 Why is this question so touchy? Grayson Quay, The Week, 15 July 2022 Tips have always been a touchy subject. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, 22 Feb. 2023 Admittedly, this is a touchy subject. Laura Daily, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2022 Status is a touchy subject in the United States. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 29 Sep. 2022 Imports, mostly from China, are a touchy subject. Min Joo Kim,, 24 Sep. 2022 But post-quake taxation is already a touchy topic in the country, and could prove risky in an election year. Abbas Al Lawati, CNN, 6 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'touchy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of touchy was in 1602

Dictionary Entries Near touchy

Cite this Entry

“Touchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


touchier; touchiest
: easily hurt or insulted
: calling for tact or careful handling
a touchy subject

More from Merriam-Webster on touchy

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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