Definition of feisty in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They are characters you can get underneath and they are all quite strong and feisty, but they are all flawed and frail.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He saw her physical beauty well enough, but he never noticed her intelligence or her feisty spirit.’
    • ‘She is stacked and feisty, but not actually that smart a player.’
    • ‘He was stubborn and feisty, determined and driven, and that's the mark that he has left.’
    • ‘She speaks softly but forcefully, an indication of how feisty she can be.’
    • ‘When I meet Kate, with her shiny, white-blonde hair, bronze skin and feisty manner, I feel I already know her.’
    • ‘But this is a sparky and feisty player who wears his heart on his sleeve.’
    • ‘Connor brings a feisty sweetness to the stage, coupled with a well-integrated voice boasting a sizzling range.’
    • ‘It's a lively little read as it stands, but neither as feisty nor effective as it could have been.’
    • ‘Be like President Truman and live an active, useful, feisty life into your late eighties or even longer!’
    • ‘Even so, the country has begun to ponder what it will be like without an outspoken, feisty prime minister.’
    • ‘There is undoubtedly a feisty spirit about the current Aberdeen squad.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hadrian built his wall to keep out raiding parties from what is now Scotland; then, as now, the Scots were a lively, feisty people.’
    • ‘Still on the west side, a feisty and determined group of community residents looks set to achieve a fine piece of conservation.’
    • ‘The characters are feisty and unusual, but at many points I couldn't really understand where any of this was going.’
    • ‘They're all 6 feet tall and in their sixties or seventies and they're spirited and feisty.’
    energetic, spirited, active, lively, zestful, vital, vigorous, strong, forceful, powerful, potent, positive, effective, effectual, high-powered, aggressive, driving, pushing, bold, enterprising
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    1. 1.1Touchy and aggressive.
      ‘he got a bit feisty and tried to hit me’
      • ‘A feisty, scrawny white guy is frantically attacking the black guy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I simply nodded, quelling that feisty, fiery side of me, and offered yet another ghost of a smile.’


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.