View synonyms for touchy


[ tuhch-ee ]


, touch·i·er, touch·i·est.
  1. apt to take offense on slight provocation; irritable:

    He is very touchy when he's sick.

    Synonyms: cranky, snappish, edgy, irascible, testy

  2. requiring caution, tactfulness, or expert handling; precarious; risky:

    a touchy subject; a touchy situation.

  3. sensitive to touch.
  4. easily ignited, as tinder.


/ ˈtʌtʃɪ /


  1. easily upset or irritated; oversensitive
  2. extremely risky
  3. easily ignited

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Derived Forms

  • ˈtouchiness, noun
  • ˈtouchily, adverb

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Other Words From

  • touchi·ly adverb
  • touchi·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of touchy1

First recorded in 1595–1605; variant of techy 2 (a variant of tetchy ( def ) ), by association with touch

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

If the judge allows the bankruptcy filing to proceed, he will then weigh other touchy questions, including a request from a dissenting NRA board member who has asked the judge to appoint an independent examiner to review the organization’s finances.

Alas, some of the creature comforts are almost too high tech, like the touchy steering-wheel audio controls and numerous options for accessing and updating channels and presets.

This one topic, however, seems to be especially touchy for him, and I'm truly at a loss on how to broach it.

Now you’re thinking that maybe you’re no longer attractive enough, which is sort of his thought about himself, and you’re touchy.

From Ozy

The international negotiations are often touchy, time consuming and incremental.

There are plenty of touchy subjects I am happy to discuss with my patients and their families.

And second, movies are a particularly touchy subject for the Hermit Kingdom.

Nobody else was as forthright with me about this touchy topic.

The question of military service is a touchier issue—but is it touchy enough to break up the band?

But could sharp elbows and a touchy personality knock out this frontrunner too?

For goodness' sake, don't take to gettin' touchy like some people are!

No small stint I had of it too; for he was peevish and touchy as a young badger.

Yet the intrinsic quality of the event moved his touchy sensitiveness less than its conjectured effect upon the minds of others.

We been hearing down at the camp you were so mighty touchy you didn't allow a man within a rod of the line.

The boney finger moved inward from the trigger guard and closed ever so gently about the touchy, hair-filed trigger—then waited.