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tetchy

or tech·y

[tech-ee]
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adjective, tetch·i·er, tetch·i·est.
  1. irritable; touchy.
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Origin of tetchy

1585–95; origin uncertain; cf. tetched, -y1
Related formstetch·i·ly, adverbtetch·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for tetchiness

tetchy

adjective tetchier or tetchiest
  1. being or inclined to be cross, irritable, or touchy
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Derived Formstetchily, adverbtetchiness, noun

Word Origin

C16: probably from obsolete tetch defect, from Old French tache spot, of Germanic origin
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 tetchiness

tetchy

adj.

"easily irritated," 1592, teachie, in "Romeo & Juliet" I.iii.32; of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Middle English tatch "a mark, quality," derived via Old French from Vulgar Latin *tecca, from a Germanic source akin to Old English tacen (see token).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper