adjective, pes·ki·er, pes·ki·est. Informal.

annoyingly troublesome; pesty: bothered by a pesky fly.

Origin of pesky

1765–75; irregular formation from pest + -y1
Related formspesk·i·ly, adverbpesk·i·ness, noun

Synonyms for pesky Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pesky

Contemporary Examples of pesky

Historical Examples of pesky

  • Talk about that depot-wagon driver and his pesky go-cart that got us into this mess.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • But even Kenelm confessed to a liking for the "pesky little nuisance."

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • I tick, tick, tick all day over this pesky business, but I don't get anywheres.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It does sound so pesky ridic'lous, although it ain't, when you understand it.

    Cap'n Eri

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • The pesky calf should be treated right, if it took the whole barrel.

    The House in the Water

    Charles G. D. Roberts

British Dictionary definitions for pesky


adjective peskier or peskiest

informal, mainly US and Canadian troublesomepesky flies
Derived Formspeskily, adverbpeskiness, noun

Word Origin for pesky

C19: probably changed from pesty; see pest
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 pesky

1775, originally in New England dialect, perhaps a dialectal formation from pest (cf. plaguy "confounded, annoying, disagreeable"). Partridge suggests an origin in Essex dialect.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper