\ 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


huffy, tetchy, thin-skinned, ticklish



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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

Trust that the touchiest spots and most tender desires are what wants to come undone and flow freely from your luscious loins. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Monthly Lovescopes October 2018," 3 Oct. 2018 Focus on being light and easy, and avoid those who are difficult and touchy., "Horoscope," 8 July 2018 Under Mandela’s own orders, many works were destroyed and the subject remains a touchy one in South Africa to this day. Danielle Bochove,, "Solid Gold Casts of Nelson Mandela’s Hands Sell for $10 Million in Bitcoin," 26 Mar. 2018 People here in Charlottesville are particularly touchy about Donald Trump. Nicole Hemmer, Vox, "Ex-Trump staffers should not get plum jobs at elite universities," 24 July 2018 Still, celebrities on YouTube are a bit of a touchy subject within the creator community, with many seeing the arrival of A-listers as a sign of digital gentrification within YouTube’s culture. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Jack Black is launching a new YouTube channel mostly dedicated to gaming," 26 Dec. 2018 How Haley managed to criticize Russia and win over Trump at the same time Spencer Platt/Getty Images Haley has also repeatedly discussed a touchy issue — Russia. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "How Nikki Haley played the White House game — and won," 9 Oct. 2018 China’s cavalier treatment of intellectual property rights has been a touchy subject in the auto industry for years. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Trump administration criticizes Chinese company’s attempted takeover of Faraday Future," 21 Nov. 2018 Come up with a scripted response to steer the conversation away from touchy areas. Mattie Quinn, SELF, "10 Tips for Dealing With Family Estrangement During the Holidays," 21 Nov. 2018

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

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for touchy

The first known use of touchy was in 1602

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More Definitions for touchy



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with touchy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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 corrupt or become corrupted

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