Definition of prissy in English:



  • Fussily and excessively respectable.

    ‘a middle-class family with two prissy children’
    • ‘The colours weren't girlie or prissy, but unusual and beautiful, with unexpected combinations of salmon pink, cream and peat brown, jade and raspberry, or orange and baby blue.’
    • ‘She plays Tracy Flick, an extreme overachiever who has set her prissy little heart on becoming president of the school council.’
    • ‘But basically, all you need to know is she's wandering the familiar halls of Eisenhower high right now back in comfortable Indiana as I sit in some prissy old school all the way in Virginia.’
    • ‘While America proved unready for the debut Rosset published, its mainstream chances stifled by a prissy New York Times review, France took the book to its heart and today Guinzburg is a national celebrity there.’
    • ‘Actually, the man does sound rather a jerk, but no more so than the prissy madam who lectures him about ‘Good Medical Practice’ while depriving him of his living for the crime of stating an unwelcome truth.’
    • ‘It's always a joy to watch prissy corporate mail filters twitch their lace curtains and bounce back NTK when they spot a phrase they don't like.’
    • ‘Think how much better it is that the opposite: prissy, priggish public expression and sinning like mad privately.’
    • ‘They don't want a prissy bar for freaky ‘beautiful people’ where they can sip cocktails and chat about style.’
    • ‘He flails around at everyone but directs most of his outbursts towards Margaret who acts like a prissy school teacher.’
    • ‘If the artist's approach often tends to such simplistic judgements, it also degenerates into prissy political correctness and schoolmarmy cluck clucking.’
    • ‘The look was schoolmarm prissy, but sexy and was every grown up boy's fantasy of a saucy school mistress or strict female dominant leader like Margaret Thatcher.’
    • ‘And everyone is guided, not by the oracle, but by a prissy astrologer named Farley.’
    • ‘Lemmon acts prissy and proper while Matthau schmoozes with the ladies, all the while acting like a general lout.’
    • ‘Kath, a sex-crazed single mother, comes under the scrutiny of her prissy daughter, Kim, when the younger woman leaves her husband and moves back in with Mum.’
    • ‘There was nothing prissy at all about another starter which consisted of a pile of rocket, aubergine purée, fried artichokes slices, shavings of Parmesan and basil on an agreeably chewy slice of toasted olive oil bread.’
    • ‘Imagine how that set of policies, from this prissy pillar of property and propriety, would radicalize national taxation in any modern state.’
    • ‘Though, I fear that I am becoming the woman I created for this façade; prim, proper, prissy.’
    • ‘She's a brave choice for a lead, a brittle, almost prissy character who reacts to her situation with irritation and denial more than anything else.’
    • ‘And we gentle Poms have acclaimed your control, admired your velocity, wet ourselves over the immaculate precision of your bouncers and waxed lyrical over your infinite superiority to our own prissy dobbers.’
    • ‘Good enough for me, I dearly hope that this school doesn't end up to be a prissy school in which everyone wears khakis and blouses all the time.’
    prudish, priggish, prim, prim and proper, niminy-piminy, strait-laced
    View synonyms


Late 19th century: perhaps a blend of prim and sissy.