- full of animation, energy, or courage; spirited; spunky; plucky: The champion is faced with a feisty challenger.
- ill-tempered; pugnacious.
- troublesome; difficult: feisty legal problems.
Origin of feisty
Examples from the Web for feisty
The feisty airline is the brainchild of entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, a Malaysian of Indian descent who also is a British citizen.The Presumed Crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Is Nothing Like MH370
December 29, 2014
The House caucus appears to be far more populist, feisty, and ready to push the debate on economic issues than it has in the past.‘Cromnibus’ Passes, But Did Anyone Win?
December 12, 2014
Sitting at a cozy café in the center of Tel Aviv, Kallai looks nothing like the feisty woman he plays on screen.
She has since become an accomplished and feisty human rights lawyer.Meet Amal Alamuddin, George Clooney’s Wife
Lizzie Crocker, Chris Allbritton
September 28, 2014
The feisty feminist in me has often warred with the longtime gamer in me.The Cake Is a Lie: Sexism Isn’t a Boss Gamer Girls Can Beat
Emily V Gordon
July 8, 2014
- lively, resilient, and self-reliant
- US and Canadian frisky
- US and Canadian irritable
Word Origin and History for feisty
1896, "aggressive, exuberant, touchy," American English, with -y (2) + feist "small dog," earlier fice, fist (American English, 1805); short for fysting curre "stinking cur," attested from 1520s, from Middle English fysten, fisten "break wind" (mid-15c.); related to Old English fisting "stink," from Proto-Germanic *fistiz- "a fart," said to be from PIE *pezd- (see fart), but there are difficulties.
The 1811 slang dictionary defines fice as "a small windy escape backwards, more obvious to the nose than ears; frequently by old ladies charged on their lap-dogs." Cf. also Danish fise "to blow, to fart," and obsolete English aske-fise, "fire-tender," literally "ash-blower" (early 15c.), from an unrecorded Norse source, used in Middle English for a kind of bellows, but originally "a term of reproach among northern nations for an unwarlike fellow who stayed at home in the chimney corner" [OED].