Definition of feisty in English:


adjectivefeistiest, feistier

  • 1(of a person, typically one who is relatively small) lively, determined, and courageous.

    ‘a love story with a feisty heroine who's more than a pretty face’
    • ‘It's a lively little read as it stands, but neither as feisty nor effective as it could have been.’
    • ‘There is undoubtedly a feisty spirit about the current Aberdeen squad.’
    • ‘She is stacked and feisty, but not actually that smart a player.’
    • ‘Still on the west side, a feisty and determined group of community residents looks set to achieve a fine piece of conservation.’
    • ‘Be like President Truman and live an active, useful, feisty life into your late eighties or even longer!’
    • ‘When I meet Kate, with her shiny, white-blonde hair, bronze skin and feisty manner, I feel I already know her.’
    • ‘The characters are feisty and unusual, but at many points I couldn't really understand where any of this was going.’
    • ‘Hadrian built his wall to keep out raiding parties from what is now Scotland; then, as now, the Scots were a lively, feisty people.’
    • ‘But this is a sparky and feisty player who wears his heart on his sleeve.’
    • ‘They are characters you can get underneath and they are all quite strong and feisty, but they are all flawed and frail.’
    • ‘Scotland were well beaten by a determined and feisty Irish side who now go to Twickenham next weekend with a chance of winning the championship.’
    • ‘Connor brings a feisty sweetness to the stage, coupled with a well-integrated voice boasting a sizzling range.’
    • ‘They're all 6 feet tall and in their sixties or seventies and they're spirited and feisty.’
    • ‘He saw her physical beauty well enough, but he never noticed her intelligence or her feisty spirit.’
    • ‘Even so, the country has begun to ponder what it will be like without an outspoken, feisty prime minister.’
    • ‘She speaks softly but forcefully, an indication of how feisty she can be.’
    • ‘But she does have lots of feisty Irish spirit and a best friend called Marion, who enjoys a few drinks and a good old sing song in the local pub.’
    • ‘He was stubborn and feisty, determined and driven, and that's the mark that he has left.’
    • ‘Yet set against that is the fact that this is a pretty dry effort with an unusual lack of feisty anecdotes, and this remains one for the real aficionado.’
    energetic, spirited, active, lively, zestful, vital, vigorous, strong, forceful, powerful, potent, positive, effective, effectual, high-powered, aggressive, driving, pushing, bold, enterprising
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Touchy and aggressive.
      ‘he got a bit feisty and tried to hit me’
      • ‘I simply nodded, quelling that feisty, fiery side of me, and offered yet another ghost of a smile.’
      • ‘The feisty old lady lives alone but fights with the men almost every day.’
      • ‘Once they adapt to their new coach's ways, the team will be aggressive and feisty.’
      • ‘A feisty, scrawny white guy is frantically attacking the black guy.’


Late 19th century: from earlier feist, fist ‘small dog’, from fisting cur or hound, a derogatory term for a lapdog, from Middle English fist ‘break wind’, of West Germanic origin. Compare with fizzle.