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[tech-ee] /ˈtɛtʃ i/
adjective, tetchier, tetchiest.
irritable; touchy.
Also, techy.
1585-95; origin uncertain; cf. tetched, -y1
Related forms
tetchily, adverb
tetchiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tetchy
  • It may make for tetchy government, but it could also moderate the extremes.
  • Moral of this story: if at first you don't succeed, write a tetchy letter.
  • They might actually tell the patient they're being rude, or get a bit tetchy themselves.
British Dictionary definitions for tetchy


adjective tetchier, tetchiest
being or inclined to be cross, irritable, or touchy
Derived Forms
tetchily, adverb
tetchiness, noun
Word Origin
C16: probably from obsolete tetch defect, from Old French tache spot, of Germanic origin
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
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Word Origin and History for tetchy

"easily irritated," 1592, teachie, in "Romeo & Juliet" I.iii.32; of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Middle English tatch "a mark, quality," derived via Old French from Vulgar Latin *tecca, from a Germanic source akin to Old English tacen (see token).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tetchy



Irritable; irascible; testy: the days when tetchy film crews invaded the center of soporific conferences

[1592+; fr dialect tetched, ''crazy, touched in the head'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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