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waspish

[wos-pish]
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adjective
  1. like or suggesting a wasp, especially in behavior.
  2. quick to resent a trifling affront or injury; snappish.
  3. irascibly or petulantly spiteful: waspish writing.
  4. having a slight or slender build.
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Origin of waspish

First recorded in 1560–70; wasp + -ish1
Related formswasp·ish·ly, adverbwasp·ish·ness, noun

Synonyms

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Waspish

or WASP·ish

[wos-pish]
adjective
  1. Waspy.
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Origin of Waspish

First recorded in 1965–70; WASP + -ish1
Related formsWasp·ish·ly, WASP·ish·ly, adverbWasp·ish·ness, WASP·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

crabby, ill-tempered, irascible, irritable, ornery, petulant, spiteful, surly, testy, cantankerous, crotchety, fretful, huffy, peevish, snappish

Examples from the Web for waspish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The waspish little mutiny was so amusing that Si had to smile in spite of himself.

  • One must have the wit 'from such a sharp and waspish word as No to pluck the sting.'

    Framley Parsonage

    Anthony Trollope

  • When people made him angry he retorted to them with waspish sarcasms.

    Narcissus

    Evelyn Scott

  • Though he is crabbed, too; rather crabbed and waspish, when he i'n't pleased.

  • She said, "I think her a sullen girl; she always looks so sour and waspish."

    Letters of a Javanese Princess

    Raden Adjeng Kartini


British Dictionary definitions for waspish

waspish

adjective
  1. relating to or suggestive of a wasp
  2. easily annoyed or angered
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Derived Formswaspishly, adverbwaspishness, 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 waspish

adj.

"irrascible, quick to take offense; spiteful," 1560s, from wasp + -ish. Related: Waspishly; waspishness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper