American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Sensitive to tickling.
- adj. Easily offended or upset; touchy.
- adj. Requiring skillful or tactful handling; delicate: a ticklish matter.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Easily moved or unbalanced; unsteady; unstable; uncertain; inconstant.
- Dubious; difficult; critical.
- Easily tickled: tickly; touchy: as, the sole of the foot is very ticklish; a ticklish person.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Sensible to slight touches; easily tickled.
- adj. Standing so as to be liable to totter and fall at the slightest touch; unfixed; easily affected; unstable.
- adj. Difficult; nice; critical.
- adj. difficult to handle; requiring great tact
- From tickle + -ish. (Wiktionary)
“Yes – there!" said Nancy, holding up Ellen's bare feet on one hand, while the fingers of the other secretly applied in ticklish fashion to the soles of them caused Ellen suddenly to start and scream.”
“If the letters were truly on the knuckles, that would assure the win...but I understand how 'ticklish' that could be.”
“McNamara explained that the defoliants would be used initially in road clearing because the chemicals presented a "ticklish" problem and road clearance offered the least potential trouble.”
“On the "ticklish" setting of this everything depends.”
Practical Taxidermy A manual of instruction to the amateur in collecting, preserving, and setting up natural history specimens of all kinds. To which is added a chapter upon the pictorial arrangement of museums. With additional instructions in modelling and artistic taxidermy.
“As for Spain, she was hard pressed; French and American emissaries had stirred up strife in her colonies; and affairs were most "ticklish" in San Domingo.”
“You can, if you make up your mind to it, prevent yourself from either wriggling, pulling your foot away, or giggling, when the sole of your foot is tickled; but if you happen to be at all "ticklish," it will take all the determination you have to do it, and some children are utterly unable to resist this impulse to squirm when tickled.”
“To the civilian mind, being sent forward purposely to draw the enemy's fire, looks like "ticklish" business.”
“Like all little girls, she was very "ticklish," and when he dallied with his fingers about her plump neck, she dropped to the ground and kicked and rolled over to get away from him.”
“Gunson confessed were "ticklish," as he called it, and where he always paused in his firm, quiet way to offer me his help.”
“Perhaps most of them would have been willing to acknowledge that it was rather "ticklish" business to lay out on a topsail yard at midnight in a gale of wind; and if their anxious mothers could have seen the boys at that moment, some of them might have fainted, and all wished them in a safer place.”
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