[ tuhch-ee ]
/ ˈtʌtʃ i /

adjective, touch·i·er, touch·i·est.

apt to take offense on slight provocation; irritable: He is very touchy when he's sick.
requiring caution, tactfulness, or expert handling; precarious; risky: a touchy subject; a touchy situation.
sensitive to touch.
easily ignited, as tinder.

Nearby words

  1. touchpaper,
  2. touchpoint,
  3. touchscreen,
  4. touchstone,
  5. touchwood,
  6. touchy-feely,
  7. touché,
  8. touggourt,
  9. tough,
  10. tough break

Origin of touchy

1595–1605; variant of techy2 (a variant of tetchy), by association with touch

Related formstouch·i·ly, adverbtouch·i·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for touchy

British Dictionary definitions for touchy


/ (ˈtʌtʃɪ) /

adjective touchier or touchiest

easily upset or irritated; oversensitive
extremely risky
easily ignited
Derived Formstouchily, adverbtouchiness, 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 touchy



"too sensitive," c.1600, perhaps an alteration of tetchy (q.v.) influenced by touch (v.). Related: Touchiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper