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[pes-kee] /ˈpɛs ki/
adjective, peskier, peskiest. Informal.
annoyingly troublesome; pesty:
bothered by a pesky fly.
Origin of pesky
1765-75; irregular formation from pest + -y1
Related forms
peskily, adverb
peskiness, noun
vexatious, irksome, bothersome, pestiferous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pesky
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Talk about that depot-wagon driver and his pesky go-cart that got us into this mess.

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • But even Kenelm confessed to a liking for the "pesky little nuisance."

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • I tick, tick, tick all day over this pesky business, but I don't get anywheres.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It does sound so pesky ridic'lous, although it ain't, when you understand it.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • The pesky calf should be treated right, if it took the whole barrel.

    The House in the Water Charles G. D. Roberts
British Dictionary definitions for pesky


adjective peskier, peskiest
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) troublesome: pesky flies
Derived Forms
peskily, adverb
peskiness, noun
Word Origin
C19: probably changed from pesty; see pest
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
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Word Origin and History for pesky

1775, originally in New England dialect, perhaps a dialectal formation from pest (cf. plaguy "confounded, annoying, disagreeable"). Partridge suggests an origin in Essex dialect.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for pesky



Vexatious; annoying; pesty

[1775+; origin unknown]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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