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adjective, cock·i·er, cock·i·est.
  1. arrogant; pertly self-assertive; conceited: He walked in with a cocky air.

Origin of cocky1

First recorded in 1540–50; cock1 + -y1
Related formscock·i·ly, adverbcock·i·ness, noun


noun, plural cock·ies.
  1. Australian.
    1. cockatoo(def 1).
    2. cockatoo(def 2a).
  2. cockatiel.

Origin of cocky2

First recorded in 1885–90; cock(atoo), cock(atiel) + -y2


verb (used without object), cock·ied, cock·y·ing. Newfoundland.
  1. copy(def 19).

Origin of cocky3

apparently a playful alteration, by association with cocky1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cocky

Historical Examples

  • Cocky Doodle had all he could do to keep the Barnyard Folk out of danger.

    Little Jack Rabbit's Adventures

    David Cory

  • Then the boy went up to the horse, and said, “Cocky, you ridem me?”

  • Cocky would have called it Destiny, and Tudway, "Outside chance."

    The Secrets of a Kuttite

    Edward O. Mousley

  • Eventually the book was purchased by Cocky Jones, but not without a row.

  • Let 'em come here and match craniums with me, that they think it smart to call 'Cocky'!

    Life on the Stage

    Clara Morris

British Dictionary definitions for cocky


adjective cockier or cockiest
  1. excessively proud of oneself
Derived Formscockily, adverb


noun plural cockies Australian informal
  1. short for cockatoo (def. 2)
  2. a farmer whose farm is regarded as small or of little account
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cocky


"arrogantly pert," 1768; originally "lecherous" (1540s); from cock (n.1) + -y (2). Related: Cockiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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