Also found in: Thesaurus.


Causing irritation or distress; vexatious.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


causing or susceptible to irritation
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈnɛt l səm)

1. causing irritation, vexation, or annoyance.
2. easily provoked or annoyed.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.nettlesome - causing irritation or annoyancenettlesome - 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"
disagreeable - not to your liking; "a disagreeable situation"
2.nettlesome - easily irritated or annoyed; "an incorrigibly fractious young man"; "not the least nettlesome of his countrymen"
ill-natured - having an irritable and unpleasant disposition
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. Troubling the nerves or peace of mind, as by repeated vexations:
2. So replete with interlocking points and complications as to be painfully irritating:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is also amongst the most nettlesome, with cyber professionals targeting a broad swath of infrastructure from hospitals, banks and telecommunication systems to defense sector and government agencies.
The latest step in the protracted battle that dates to November 2015 will see the case--or at least an aspect of it--once again go to the state's highest court, which ruled 7-0 last April that the city had acted illegally in rezoning a 45-acre plot on the Highland Colony Parkway to allow a fueling station, a particularly nettlesome aspect to the plaintiffs.
Trump's decision also allows America's most nettlesome NATO ally, Turkey, to attack the Syrian Kurdish fighting contingent.
Among the more nettlesome issues is how nations report progress in implementing voluntary national plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
class="MsoNormalOne of the nettlesome issues facing Kenya is negative ethnicity, one that often rears its ugly face during the electioneering season.
The world would be happy to see another nettlesome dictator go.
Appel's preliminary composition, Phoning Home, focused upon incidences taking place during the author's seventh summer; which for his household was a period in which his family was agitated with the nettlesome attentions of a crank call artist.
American news outlets agree that, given that human rights, democracy and related issues such as freedom of the press are hardly Trump's calling card in America, it makes perfect sense that he's knocking many of these nettlesome issues off the table in favor of more "effectively" fighting the war on terror.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Republicans "find particularly nettlesome," he adds, "will remain, but its activities almost certainly will atrophy greatly" under Trump's administration.