1 a : full of nervous energy : fidgety
b : touchy, quarrelsome
c : exuberantly frisky
2 : having or showing a lively aggressiveness : spunky
Did You Know?
In certain parts of the United States, most notably the South, the noun "feist" (pronounced to rhyme with "heist") refers to a small dog used in hunting small game animals (such as squirrels). Also spelled "fice" or "fyce," it comes from an obsolete term, "fisting hound," that derived from another obsolete term, "fist," a verb that once meant "to break wind." The term "feisty" has come a long way from its flatulent origin, but its small-dog association still seems relevant: the term conveys the spunk and determination that one may associate with a dog that manages to make its presence known (either through its bark or its bite) despite its small size.
Elena found success as an actress on Broadway thanks in part to her feisty spirit and strong work ethic.
"Puss, the adorable, boots-wearing, sword-slashing sidekick, already has quite a following, based on his appearance in 'Shrek' II-IV. But feisty, cinematic kitties always have enjoyed a devoted fan base." -- From an article by Jackie Burrell in the San Jose Mercury News, October 23, 2011
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