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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
pesky reporters
▪ For example, we hoped to do away with those pesky Internet addresses.
▪ It also may be because she polishes her work to a high sheen, sometimes buffing away a pesky fact or two.
▪ Now I come to think about it, that pesky Lad was dancing about somewhere outside.
▪ Our culture also cautions women not to raise pesky issues of parenting lest they frighten men off-men being notoriously reluctant fathers.
▪ Some force deep within truly wants to believe aliens cured that Montana farmer of his pesky hernia problem.
▪ The beauty of the Taco Loco is that it is like a large taco salad without all that pesky lettuce.
▪ The families of these pesky believers were then permitted to join them.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Pesky \Pes"ky\, a. [Etymol. uncertain.] Pestering; vexatious; troublesome. Used also as an intensive. [Colloq. & Low, U.S.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1775, originally in New England dialect, perhaps a dialectal formation from pest (compare plaguy "confounded, annoying, disagreeable"). Partridge suggests an origin in Essex dialect.


a. annoying, troublesome, irritating.

  1. adj. causing irritation or annoyance; "tapping an annoying rhythm on his glass with his fork"; "aircraft noise is particularly bothersome near the airport"; "found it galling to have to ask permission"; "an irritating delay"; "nettlesome paperwork"; "a pesky mosquito"; "swarms of pestering gnats"; "a plaguey newfangled safety catch"; "a teasing and persistent thought annoyed him"; "a vexatious child"; "it is vexing to have to admit you are wrong" [syn: annoying, bothersome, galling, irritating, nettlesome, pestering, pestiferous, plaguy, plaguey, teasing, vexatious, vexing]

  2. [also: peskiest, peskier]

Usage examples of "pesky".

I told him, but he was already backing away, and he dismissed my admonishment with a wave of his hand, as if swatting at a pesky insect.

As the enemy fleet surrounded Omicron and pounded it with bombs and radiation, the remaining defenders swooped in from behind and made pesky little raids at their rear.

Said to tell ye that she raised eight babes of her own and she be too old to have these noisy, pesky, dirty varmints raining havoc on her home.

California that paid absolutely no attention to that pesky antismoking law.

Undeniably Cute: A Cautionary Tale by Marta Randall Someone, they decided, had used the place as a prison planet for pesky savages.

Thus he knew that his mother had always cared for his younger brother more than himand how not, when he had been her first experience of the humiliating sickness of pregnancy, the agony and travail of childbearing, and the pesky, persistent labor of looking after infant, toddler, No and Why!

He had not yet gotten words for know and not know, was unsure of those pesky soft-tissue conditionals if and then.

He scanned the distant ficus hedge into which Dominick Amador had disappeared, and hoped the pesky con artist was watching.

The birthday party got a bit relaxed and our husbands decided that, since all four of us were Howards, there was no sense in bothering with these pesky rubber sheaths.

Some pesky Suffragists brought in their pet female doctor and commenced whinging about the entire painting room, espe­cially about the paints and glazes, saying we're poisoning the girls and that's why they disappear.

Perhaps it was a holdover from her chosen self-reliant life-style all the way back in the dinosaur days of the '60s, but Edwina Godz was willing to live by the wisdom that if you wanted to live life to the fullest, without the pesky interference of the Man, you should definitely grow your own.

He's been off fighting those pesky Medell marauders for two long years and, as you might imagine, he's feeling frisky now that he's back.

Rested, recharged, limber and loose, she prepared for her first day back on the job after a wonderfully undemanding two-week vacation where the peskiest task facing her had been whether to eat or sleep.

One of the mosky skons (21st century slang: pesky screwballs) escaped from the preparation room, apparently with the connivance of Le Boeuf.

The lovely new rose bonnet she had scrimped for, saying over and over how buying it was a plain disgraseful waste cause who knows she might never wear this thing again—that pesky hat had gone all lopsided like it was melting and she never even noticed, that's how wore out the poor thing was from no sleep and bad nerves.