adjective, fuss·i·er, fuss·i·est.

excessively busy with trifles; anxious or particular about petty details.
hard to satisfy or please: a fussy eater.
(of clothes, decoration, etc.) elaborately made, trimmed, or decorated: All the bric-a-brac gave the room a fussy, cluttered look.
full of details, especially in excess: His writing is so fussy I lose the thread of the story.

Origin of fussy

First recorded in 1825–35; fuss + -y1
Related formsfuss·i·ly, adverbfuss·i·ness, nouno·ver·fuss·y, adjectiveun·fuss·i·ly, adverbun·fuss·i·ness, nounun·fuss·y, adjective

Synonyms for fussy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fussily

Historical Examples of fussily

  • Look at those bits of paper littering the place,' he went on fussily.

    Peter and Jane

    S. (Sarah) Macnaughtan

  • Fussily, he folded the garments as they fell away from Daoud and laid them on a chair.

  • "I should like to read it," she said, fussily fumbling at her waist for her spectacle-case.

    Rose Charlitte

    Marshall Saunders

  • "You will have to come around Wednesday," said Marshall, fussily.

  • While the girls are fussily opening the robe, she manages to push her brother's gift behind the door.

    The Daughter of the Storage

    William Dean Howells

British Dictionary definitions for fussily


adjective fussier or fussiest

inclined to fuss over minor points
very particular about detail
characterized by overelaborate detailthe furniture was too fussy to be elegant
Derived Formsfussily, adverbfussiness, noun
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 fussily



1831, from fuss (n.) + -y (2). Related: Fussily; fussiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper