adjective, ants·i·er, ants·i·est. Informal.

unable to sit or stand still; fidgety: The children were bored and antsy.
apprehensive, uneasy, or nervous: I'm a little antsy since hearing those storm warnings.

Origin of antsy

1950–55; ant + -s3 + -y1; cf. -sy
Related formsants·i·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for antsiness


adjective antsier or antsiest

informal restless, nervous, and impatient
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 antsiness



1838, American English, from plural of ant + -y (2); probably reflecting the same image as the slang expression have ants in (one's) pants "be restless and fidgety" from a century later. Related: Antsiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper