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

Related Words for antsy

anxious, edgy, impatient, restless

Examples from the Web for antsy

Contemporary Examples of antsy

Historical Examples of antsy

  • "Tell the truth, I'm sort of antsy to get back," Joe Kivelson said.

    Four-Day Planet

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Give the suits something to occupy themselves with—otherwise they get antsy and stir up trouble.


    Cory Doctorow

British Dictionary definitions for antsy


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 antsy

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