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

  • adj. Easily upset; given to bouts of ill temper: a fussy baby.
  • adj. Paying great or excessive attention to personal tastes and appearance; fastidious: He was always fussy about clothes.
  • adj. Calling for or requiring great attention to sometimes trivial details: a fussy actuarial problem.
  • adj. Full of superfluous details: "It can indeed be fussy, filling with ornament what should be empty space” ( H.D.F. Kitto).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Anxious or particular about petty details.
  • adj. Having a tendency to fuss, cry, or be ill-tempered (especially of babies).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Making a fuss; disposed to make an unnecessary ado about trifles; overnice; fidgety.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Moving and acting with fuss; bustling; making much ado about trifles; making more ado than is necessary.

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

  • adj. exacting especially about details
  • adj. overcrowded or cluttered with detail
  • adj. annoyed and irritable


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • She starts by sketching, which she refers to as her fussy phase of the creative process, then begins applying masking fluid to the white spaces, gradually progressing to other lighter tones before adding more layers of color.

    New Times News

  • The art on the walls, set in fussy gilt frames, kept changing — from Manet to Monet and back, I think.

    Future Schlock

  • I believe that people who are described as fussy eaters simply are not given enough choice in what they eat.

    The Genius of Flexibility

  • You’re doing better than I am with that certain fussy cry.

    Shit and Spit… | Her Bad Mother

  • I like the idea of fussy cutting but it was hard to do without a test go.

    March Quilting Block

  • But using Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oprah Winfrey in place of Paris and Britney would hardly have made the point that the McCain folks are clearly trying to make: that the elegant Obama, described as fussy by one McCain aide, by virtue of his celebrity, is just like female celebrities, who are, of course, slutty, stupid or mentally disturbed.

    Adele Stan: McCain Ad a "Dumb Blonde" Joke

  • This bread is better than most bakery bread available here, and nobody could call it fussy.

    Minimalist's Sullivan Street Bread (with updates)

  • Some of the boarders called her fussy; some said she was cold; some said she was "stuck-up" and none of them had found that beneath the surface there was a sweet, gentle, lonely heart.

    Fireside Stories for Girls in Their Teens

  • By calling fussy little strikes often enough I could have kept the profits close to the zero mark.

    The Iron Puddler

  • "Miss Walton, your figure suggests a half-idiot, with a narrow forehead and one idea, banging back and forth on a wooden horse, but making no progress -- in other words, a fussy, bustling man who can do and talk but one thing."

    Opening a Chestnut Burr


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.