Definition of touchy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtʌtʃi/

adjective (touchier, touchiest)

1Easily upset or offended; oversensitive: she’s a little touchy about her age
More example sentences
  • Even cool Capricorns can get touchy and easily upset during the Time of the Crab.
  • If you go too slowly, the person thinks you don't want to hug them, and you have a touchy, cranky person on your hands for the rest of the evening.
  • They often lash out suddenly and for no apparent reason, and may seem to be touchy or irritable most of the time.
1.1(Of an issue or situation) requiring careful handling; delicate: the monarchy has become a touchy topic
More example sentences
  • In this kind of situation, touchy subjects are skirted and cones of silence descend.
  • By acquiescing to both England and Germany through the Iberian Indecision, France completely avoids this touchy issue.
  • It's a touchy issue, I realize how complex and personal these decisions are to some people.
delicate, sensitive, tricky, ticklish, thorny, knotty, embarrassing, uncomfortable, uneasy, precarious, chancy, risky, uncertain, contentious, controversial, awkward, difficult
informal sticky



Pronunciation: /ˈtʌtʃɪli/
Example sentences
  • ‘What do you think you're doing?,’ she demanded, touchily.
  • ‘No, you're saying it wrong,’ Sara said touchily.
  • ‘We have Enchanting Arts last,’ she ordered touchily.


Pronunciation: /ˈtʌtʃɪnəs/
Example sentences
  • There is good reason for the touchiness: in the First Crusade in 1099 Jerusalem was brutally captured and in the fighting the Christian soldiers of the western alliance killed 70,000 men, women and children.
  • Recognizing the touchiness of sovereign states to outside criticism, there is little more that the applicant's country can do other than send gentle reminders when delays occur.
  • You will appreciate our touchiness at being blamed for something which is being done in an extremely good cause, but which is outside our direct control and in which our express role has been to assist.


Early 17th century: perhaps an alteration of tetchy, influenced by touch.

Words that rhyme with touchy

archduchy, duchy

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: touchy

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