Definition of tetchy in US English:

tetchy

adjective

  • Bad-tempered and irritable.

    • ‘After three days and nights barricaded into his office, Kristall's managing director was exhausted and just a little tetchy.’
    • ‘When we first speak on the phone Judy seems tired and tetchy.’
    • ‘However, maybe because he's jetlagged, Hornby is a tad tetchy today.’
    • ‘Once or twice in the second half matters got a bit tetchy and referee Fintan Barrett - who has had better games all round - had no real options but to dismiss a player from each side in separate incidents.’
    • ‘He started spending more and more time at home and ironically this seemed to trouble my mother because she became so irritable and tetchy, and so I made it a point to stay away from home.’
    • ‘After a difficult two months, blighted by injuries to her back and thigh, the tall Californian has looked tetchy and out of sorts this week.’
    • ‘The dying hours of any election campaign are always marked by an exhausted tetchy edge among candidates and parties as they strive to go that extra mile while awaiting the judgement of others.’
    • ‘My wife says I have been known to spend hours completely incommunicado; and I admit I do get tetchy if I'm disturbed.’
    • ‘Normally chirpy and gregarious, the 49-year-old has become increasingly tetchy in the build-up to the tournament.’
    • ‘Firm with the media in the past, he is now tetchy.’
    • ‘In the north, the Gauls are threatening, the Greeks are grumbling to the east, and Rome's biggest threat, the Carthaginians, are growing tetchy to the south.’
    • ‘When he gets a good result, he sometimes wants to react and say, ‘there you are’ to his detractors, but equally a bad result can make him tetchy.’
    • ‘He has to balance his new life with the demands of a tetchy father and family life (Rachel Griffiths plays his wife).’
    • ‘I'm feeling just a wee bit dehydrated and ever-so-slightly tetchy.’
    • ‘You can see why people might get a little tetchy about their personal privacy with one company carving so many avenues into their lives, even if I do think those worries are ultimately unfounded.’
    • ‘Now that the competition is a straight knockout, supporters yesterday grew increasingly tetchy over Dundee's failure to score and Sartid's gamesmanship.’
    • ‘The foreground music (it was too loud to be described as ‘background music’) irritated us just that little bit to the point it makes a calm chap feel tetchy.’
    • ‘His relationship with the national team, though, has turned tetchy since he was discarded from their recent European tour with a colleague for apparently breaking a squad curfew on having guests in the hotel.’
    • ‘Other Amazing Race contestants are tetchy that the couple are there, as the pair find it easier to get favours from strangers because they get recognised.’
    • ‘At times the game got a little tetchy but the official simply spoke in a stern fashion to the players rather than displaying cards left right and centre.’
    irritable, irascible, peevish, crotchety, cantankerous, cross, fractious, disagreeable, pettish, crabbed, crabby, waspish, prickly, testy, peppery, impatient, grumpy, bad-tempered, ill-tempered, ill-natured, ill-humoured, touchy, scratchy, volatile, crusty, dyspeptic, splenetic, liverish, short-tempered, hot-tempered, quick-tempered, choleric
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century: probably from a variant of Scots tache ‘blotch, fault’, from Old French teche.

Pronunciation

tetchy

/ˈteCHē//ˈtɛtʃi/