- apt to take offense on slight provocation; irritable: He is very touchy when he's sick.
- requiring caution, tactfulness, or expert handling; precarious; risky: a touchy subject; a touchy situation.
- sensitive to touch.
- easily ignited, as tinder.
Origin of touchy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. testy, irascible, edgy, snappish, cranky. See irritable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for touchy
There are plenty of touchy subjects I am happy to discuss with my patients and their families.Kids Don’t Know How Overweight They Really Are
July 29, 2014
Nobody else was as forthright with me about this touchy topic.Reading Prison Novels In Prison
May 24, 2014
The question of military service is a touchier issue—but is it touchy enough to break up the band?The Lapid-Bennett Alliance Is Breaking Down
Emily L. Hauser
December 6, 2013
But could sharp elbows and a touchy personality knock out this frontrunner too?Can Chris Christie Avoid the Giuliani Jinx?
August 12, 2013
But a father's presence in the delivery room remains a touchy subject.Sarkozy Missed Daughter's Birth—What People Think
October 22, 2011
These Cape Codders are self-respecting and touchy, you know.Mary-'Gusta
Joseph C. Lincoln
Besides, he's a touchy person, and my husband is most tenacious regarding him.Luttrell Of Arran
Charles James Lever
I have taken pains with the dialogue, and made it as sharp and touchy as I could.
Tim often said he would be a soldier when he came to be a man, and was touchy on the point.Kilgorman
Talbot Baines Reed
For goodness' sake, don't take to gettin' touchy like some people are!Patchwork
Anna Balmer Myers
- easily upset or irritated; oversensitive
- extremely risky
- easily ignited
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 touchy
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper