adjective, pris·si·er, pris·si·est.

excessively proper; affectedly correct; prim.

Origin of prissy

1890–95, Americanism; blend of prim1 and sissy
Related formspris·si·ly, adverbpris·si·ness, noun


or Pris·sy



a female given name, form of Priscilla. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prissy

Contemporary Examples of prissy

Historical Examples of prissy

  • The woman was, as Prissy had assured Abram, “tickled to pieces.”

  • I'll not deny that Prissy and I were wondering at your absence.

    Lover or Friend

    Rosa Nouchette Carey

  • We were going upstairs, Prissy and I; the girl had been in bed for an hour.

    Lover or Friend

    Rosa Nouchette Carey

  • For look you, Prissy, an' it were not true, it would be a lie.

    The Prince and The Pauper, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Would these boys let her keep them in order as Bertie was kept by Prissy and Milly?

    Esther's Charge

    Evelyn Everett-Green

British Dictionary definitions for prissy


adjective -sier or -siest

fussy and prim, esp in a prudish way
Derived Formsprissily, adverbprissiness, noun

Word Origin for prissy

C20: probably from prim + sissy
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 prissy

1895, probably Southern U.S. dialect, first attested in Joel Chandler Harris, perhaps an alteration of precise (q.v.), or a merger of prim and sissy [OED]. Related: Prissily; prissiness.

["]Then Mrs Blue Hen rumpled up her feathers and got mad with herself, and went to setting. I reckon that's what you call it. I've heard some call it 'setting' and others 'sitting.' Once, when I was courting, I spoke of a sitting hen, but the young lady said I was too prissy for anything."
"What is prissy?" asked Sweetest Susan.
Mr. Rabbit shut his eyes and scratched his ear. Then he shook his head slowly.
"It's nothing but a girl's word," remarked Mrs. Meadows by way of explanation. "It means that somebody's trying hard to show off."
"I reckon that's so," said Mr. Rabbit, opening his eyes. He appeared to be much relieved.
[Joel Chandler Harris, "Mr. Rabbit at Home"]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper