Definitions

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

  • adj. Likely to snap or bite, as a dog.
  • adj. Irritable and curt: a snappish tone of voice; a snappish debating partner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Likely to snap or bite.
  • adj. Exhibiting irritation or impatience; curt; irascible.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Apt to snap at persons or things; eager to bite.
  • adj. Sharp in reply; apt to speak angrily or testily; easily provoked; tart; peevish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Ready or apt to snap or bite: as, a snappish cur.
  • Sharp in reply; apt to speak angrily or tartly; tart; crabbed; also, proceeding from a sharp temper or from anger; also, chiding; scolding; faultfinding.
  • Synonyms Touchy, testy, crusty, petulant, pettish, splenetic.

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

  • adj. apt to speak irritably

Etymologies

snap +‎ -ish. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Messrs. Davidson and Slocum were on the point of resolving their perplexity into wrath, as they went down the great stone stairway to the waiting carriage, but Mr. Crockett, the testy and snappish, muttered ecstatically: The son of a gun!

    CHAPTER IV

  • In her real world, Coraline's snappish mother cleans while her father cooks unappetizing dishes.

    'Coraline' looks great, but the story lacks focus

  • Whereas the workplace sex comedy Free Agents, featuring a mopey Hank Azaria and a snappish Kathryn Hahn, looks pretty toxic.

    Critic's Notebook: The NBC Upfront

  • An unpleasant show about miserable people working in an environment (corporate public relations) that's about as welcoming as Chernobyl, this is the decidedly non-romantic story of newly divorced whiner Alex (Hank Azaria), who cries after sex and any time he hears a certain Archies song, and snappish co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn), who drowns her sorrows over her dead-too-soon fiancé, to whom she's turned her home into a creepy shrine.

    Fall TV Previews: Up All Night, Free Agents

  • You may well cry after, or during, this anti-comedy about whiny, snappish neurotics sharing an unbearably smug workplace that's about as inviting as Chernobyl.

    Matt's Guide to the TV Week: Closer Finale, CW and NBC Premieres, and More

  • This self-referencing, snappish tone tracks with the president's "open mic" comments last week at a Chicago fund-raiser.

    Obama's Likability Gap

  • The country made a huge leap electing a minority president; had at any point Obama gotten snappish or “angry” or remotely threatening, white America would have turned against him in a New York minute, and still would.

    Matthew Yglesias » Luce & Machiavelli on Leadership

  • And when I bristle, I get kind of big-brotherly, in the snappish way.

    Angry Young Man

  • The interplay between the performers is lively and very sharp, from the easy, near-constant physical contact between the twins to the verbal deliveries that switch on a dime from singsongy to snappish.

    Theater review: 'Tether' by Julie Taiwo Oni

  • The market is roiling and everyone's a little snappish, especially after a few vacation rain clouds and a couple rum punches.

    Un-Giantlike Grouchiness

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