wasp·​ish ˈwä-spish How to pronounce waspish (audio)
: resembling a wasp in behavior
especially : snappish, petulant
a waspish temper
: resembling a wasp in form
especially : slightly built
waspishly adverb
waspishness noun

Examples of waspish in a Sentence

extremely waspish, she uses her wit viciously when irritated
Recent Examples on the Web Among the waspish regulars of the Algonquin Round Table, Robert Benchley cut a relatively docile figure. New York Times, 11 May 2022 At his waspish best, Mr. Wheatcroft is entertaining on all this. Richard Aldous, WSJ, 8 Oct. 2021 The waspish Queen – played by Rebecca Trehearn, whose deliciously withering grandeur would give Marie Antoinette pause — is not, to put it mildly, pleased. David Benedict, Variety, 19 Aug. 2021 The author takes a waspish tone that doesn’t always enhance his arguments, but the book is an excellent distillation of a complicated menace. Barton Swaim, WSJ, 26 Feb. 2021 The portrait of prewar upper-class English life is superb, the characters are vividly drawn and the comedy, as always in Waugh, is by turns waspish, warm and knockabout. John Banville, WSJ, 2 Oct. 2020 Once again, waspish commentators noted, an American woman has caused a ruction in the royal family. Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2020 Bening is capable of being waspish, consoling, frail, indomitable, and woebegone – sometimes all at once. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 May 2018 Olney was known to be quite difficult and often waspish about his colleagues. Moira Hodgson, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'waspish.' 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

1566, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of waspish was in 1566

Dictionary Entries Near waspish

Cite this Entry

“Waspish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waspish. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


wasp·​ish ˈwäs-pish How to pronounce waspish (audio)
: easily annoyed : snappish
: like a wasp in form
especially : very thin
waspishly adverb
waspishness noun

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