touchy

adjective
\ 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

Other Words from touchy

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for touchy

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Weatherell said Tuesday’s vaccine clinic, proposed by Alaska Railroad’s human resources department, was a fitting tribute, even though vaccination remains a touchy subject among railroaders. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Nov. 2021 While once a touchy subject in the private sector, recent data has actually indicated that a majority of companies plan on having COVID-19 vaccine mandates for their workforce, separate from federal regulations. Anne Flaherty, ABC News, 5 Nov. 2021 Because slang created in one group or medium often gets co-opted by other groups, word origins can be a touchy subject anyway. Nedra Rhone, ajc, 22 Oct. 2021 Men who were touchy about their own social status often took comfort in belittling her. CBS News, 6 Nov. 2021 The breeding cycles of Western gulls became a touchy political drama for L.A. when a plummeting water level revealed a land bridge connecting an island rookery to the shore, allowing coyotes to pad across and feast on the birds and their eggs. Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2021 For Americans who live with few social safety nets or identify by their work, quitting is a touchy business, often shrouded in a mix of secrecy, shame, and emotional labor. Kathryn Hymes, Wired, 1 Nov. 2021 Addiction is an emotional subject—and a notoriously touchy term for understandable reasons. Sara Lindberg, SELF, 29 Oct. 2021 People were very touchy about this five-minute thing. Jesse David Fox, Vulture, 24 Sep. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of touchy

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About touchy

Dictionary Entries Near touchy

touchwood

touchy

touchy-feely

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for touchy

Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Touchy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/touchy. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for touchy

touchy

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of touchy

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

touchy

adjective
\ 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

Nglish: Translation of touchy for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!