Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Rude and disrespectful; impudent.
  • adj. Lively and spirited; jaunty.
  • adj. Stylish; chic: a sassy little hat.
  • n. A western African tree (Erythrophleum suaveolens) of the pea family, having bark that yields a poison and wood that is used for construction. Also called sasswood, sassy bark.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. impudent
  • adj. bold and spirited; cheeky
  • adj. saucy
  • adj. vigorous
  • adj. lively

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. improperly forward or bold

Etymologies

Alteration of saucy.
Of West African origin; akin to Twi `ɔ-sésé, plane tree, Ewe séséwú, timber tree, and Ga (Niger-Congo language of Ghana) sèsè, kind of tree.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
sass +‎ -y (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Elizabeth Leiknes is the author of "The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns," a novel she describes as sassy women's fiction.

    The Record-Courier - Top Stories

  • As noted in Angela W's review, the store manager is a little "sassy" - not outright rude, but

    Recent Reviews Near San Francisco, CA

  • Not to be "sassy" - but I should probably throw in "duh".

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • I call it sassy because this one has a kick to it, thanks to the cayenne pepper and fresh ginger.

    Maria Rodale: Sassy Hot Apple Cider

  • That is, if you could call the sassy, sexually curious tease Baby Doll a "maiden."

    Kim Morgan: Black Malden Moan: 'Baby Doll'

  • Bear Cat and her new mole collar that made a soft, fur wall about her slim throat to her very ears and the tip of her saucy chin, and the perky hat -- also elegantly "sassy" -- turned up in front and down behind, and the new driving gauntlets, and the new coat that had made dad groan until he had seen Mary V inside it and changed the groan to a proud little chuckle of admiration.

    The Thunder Bird

  • This album, a cathartic set of techno-bombastic scores, brought in a wide range of artists such as spoken word sassy girl Maggie Estep, Songs of Faith and Devotion session vocalists Douglas McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb) and Hildia Cambell, and Recoil mainstay

    brooklynvegan

  • Her music is best described as sassy bar band roots-rock and Americana, but is infused with some serious bad-ass Boston swagger by way of Diamonds in the Dust, are garnished with pedal steel or a country sway, but allow plenty of room for rip-roaring electricity to pump you up and get you bobbing your head and dancing.

    Mainstream Isn't So Bad...Is It?

  • She is known as a sassy, classy and successful lady, who is at the top of her game as the MD of Big Blue, a PR and sports marketing firm.

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  • With their "sassy" clothes and urban style, these modern dolls live on the edge of what some parents will allow.

    Evolution of the American Doll

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