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 fussy

Contemporary Examples of fussy

Historical Examples of fussy

  • The dear fussy little woman said that John had been telephoning inquiries.

  • But why be fussy about clothes when God has given you only one life to live?

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The Misses Cabot welcomed her with fussy and dignified condescension.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • For a critter as fussy and particular about some things, he's careless enough about others.

    Keziah Coffin

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "Well, if you want to call it fussy, she is," Rosamond groaned.


    Dorothy Whitehill

British Dictionary definitions for fussy


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 fussy

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper