Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or suggestive of a wasp.
  • adj. Easily irritated or annoyed; irascible.
  • adj. Indicative of irritation, annoyance, or spite: a waspish remark.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Suggestive of the behaviour of a wasp.
  • adj. Spiteful or irascible.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Resembling a wasp in form; having a slender waist, like a wasp.
  • adj. Quick to resent a trifling affront; characterized by snappishness; irritable; irascible; petulant; snappish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Like a wasp in any way.

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

  • adj. very irritable

Etymologies

From wasp +‎ -ish. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Do they not sometimes get called waspish and shrewish by virtue of their very chastity?

    Plutarch's Morals

  • If I were a wasp and I’ve been called waspish on occasion, I’d rather be poisoned than stuck to glue where I’ll try to escape and rip off my legs or slowly die an agonizing, slow, slow death full of pain and suffering.

    September, transmogrification and killer karma « knitnut.net

  • My generation's first exposure to Agnes Moorehead wasn't her work for Orson Welles, but when she was well into her 60s and perfecting the waspish put-down of her daughter's attempts at domesticity on a weekly basis in Bewitched.

    Spotted: an older woman on screen

  • When most male observational comics are trying to come across as the kind of regular blokes you might find propping up the bar at your local, Godliman's more the waspish girl in the corner with a glass of white wine who's smarter than the lot of them put together.

    This week's new comedy

  • He fell completely beyond the arc of his waspish brain and acid tongue and so he seemed utterly confused by the reception he sometimes got.

    The Grumpy Critic « Tales from the Reading Room

  • He also fancies himself a playwright, and approaches the well-heeled Mr. Dangle (Darragh Kennan) and the waspish Mr. Sneer (Jonathan Smoots), a pair of opinionated connoisseurs, in the hopes of enlisting their support for his latest effort, a tragedy called "The Spanish Armada" that ranks alongside "The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe" as the worst play ever written.

    Those Who Cannot Do…

  • Even in the semi-formal surroundings of the Team GB press marquee there is a waspish chemistry between the pair, and an air of almost marital delicacy when the subject is broached of Grainger's recent outings with alternative partners during Watkins' recent injury break.

    Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins ready to put chemistry to the test

  • As Martinez drove down the great spine of the Avenida de América, and on into Castellana, it hit Mulcahy full-on just like the heat had: the car horns, the waspish buzz of scooters, the hurtling, bustling sense of humanity always on the move.

    The Priest

  • Managing to hold his famously waspish tongue, he seemed at ease, a patron of the arts keen on charitable good works, as well as the kind of cause that many would consider lost.

    Electric Proms: Elton John and Leon Russell – review

  • Even before the appearance of her ghostly rival, Norris radiates a waspish discontent.

    Blithe Spirit – review

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Comments

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  • Is it ALL IN CAPS in the original, or is that your emphasis?

    April 11, 2009

  • Also see wasp waist

    April 11, 2009

  • "A WASPISH TONGUE, MISS MURRAY, IS TO MY MIND BUT ONE OF THE MANY UNATTRACTIVE FEATURES OF THE MODERN SUFFRAGETTE" -someone to Mina Murray in 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'

    April 11, 2009