adjective, bris·tli·er, bris·tli·est.

covered or rough with bristles.
like or resembling bristles.
easily antagonized; irascible: a bristly person with few friends.

Origin of bristly

First recorded in 1585–95; bristle + -y1
Related formsbris·tli·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bristly

Historical Examples of bristly

Word Origin and History for bristly

1590s, from bristle (n.) + -y (2). Figurative sense is recorded from 1872. Related: Bristliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper