Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From tickle +‎ -ish.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɪk(ə)lɪʃ/
  • (file)


ticklish (comparative more ticklish, superlative most ticklish)

  1. Sensitive or susceptible to being tickled.
    She is ticklish only on her tummy and the bottoms of her feet.
  2. Touchy, sensitive, or delicate.
    • 1977, John Le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, Folio Society 2010, page 162:
      Opening round three, Enderby moved the ticklish issue of whether to advise the Hong Kong government of the intelligence regarding Ko.
    • 2014 September 15, Martin Gayford, “There's more to Ming than a vase [print version: 16 August 2014, pp. R6–R7]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review)[1]:
      The fact that the Yongle emperor was therefore a usurper, regicide and nepoticide (nephew-killer) made compiling the Veritable Record – or official history – of his reign a most dangerous scholarly post. The official given this ticklish task managed to survive several drafts, finally producing one that pleased his master as it omitted the dead nephew's reign altogether.

Derived terms[edit]