I am trying to think of a word, or if necessary a phrase, to describe someone who is extremely sensitive to minor injustices committed against him. Think of a person who will challenge anybody to a duel who treats him unfairly, even if the offense is slight.

The word proud comes to mind, but it has other connotations and doesn't capture the sensitivity I am trying to express.

I am not looking for synonyms for sensitive, like thin-skinned, etc. I am not talking about someone who can't handle a joke or the rough and tumble of normal conversation. I'm talking about someone who will never take an injustice lying down, even if it's so minor most people would say "let it go".

  • Clarify one thing, are you focusing on "being treated unfairly" or "taking offense easily"? Because you mention both on different parts of your question.
    – Rio1210
    Mar 23, 2017 at 13:36
  • Being treated unfairly. To me "taking offense easily" implies that a person is thin-skinned; for example someone who can't take criticism or can't take a joke. This is not a characteristic I associate, necessarily, with the kind of person I am trying to describe. Mar 23, 2017 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


Consider touchy (Merriam-Webster):

1 : marked by readiness to take offense on slight provocation ▪ he's a little touchy about his past

Or prickly (Merriam-Webster):

3 b : easily irritated ▪ had a prickly disposition


I think the word you are looking for is Pique: According to the Merriam Webster - Pique means:

a transient feeling of wounded vanity : resentment. a fit of pique

According to Oxford - Pique:

annoyed or bitter feelings that you have, usually because your pride has been hurt.

When he realized nobody was listening to him, he left in a fit of pique. She lied about it out of pique.

I think this exactly fits the bill as you mentioned proud being a close word that doesn't really express the whole quality you are trying to express.

But if you only consider the portion in your question "never take injustice lying down" or "treated unfairly" then the word that comes to mind is Indignant.

According to Merriam Webster Indignant means:

feeling or showing anger because of something unjust or unworthy : filled with or marked by indignation.

Became indignant at the accusation

Other words that somewhat hit the mark (but you kind of discarded them as you don't want synonyms of thin-skinned) are Prickly, Oversensitive, Hypersensitive and Defensive. Some of them might work, especially Defensive and Prickly.

  • I think indignant hits the mark best, so far. Mar 23, 2017 at 14:26
  • I'd agree. Judging by the comment that you later added as a reply to my initial comment, I think Indignant best fits out of the ones I encountered here so far.
    – Rio1210
    Mar 23, 2017 at 14:28

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