Simple Definition of coy
: having a shy or sweetly innocent quality that is often intended to be attractive or to get attention
: not telling or revealing all the information that could be revealed
Full Definition of coy
Examples of coy in a sentence
It is distinctly odd to read a whole page dedicated to Hitler's life and character without a reference to his anti-Semitism. To say that Swiss banks contained gold coming from the bank accounts, the jewelry boxes, and the teeth of “concentration camp victims” is a little coy. —Ian Buruma, New Republic, 31 Jan. 2000
Rival camps are terrified that Bush will reject federal matching funds and the campaign-spending limits they impose, and Bush's aides are coy on the subject. —John F. Dickerson, Time, 8 Mar. 1999
And there's Julia, the charming “chatterbot” (a text-based computer character), whose coy pickup banter echoes that of real-life Internet flirts. —Michiko Kakutani, Albany (New York) Times-Union, 20 Aug. 1997
I didn't like her coy manner.
He gave a coy answer.
Origin and Etymology of coy
Middle English, quiet, shy, from Anglo-French quoi, quei, koi quiet, from Latin quietus
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of coy
COY Defined for Kids
Definition of coy for Students
: falsely shy or modest
History for coy
Coy now usually means “pretending to be shy,” but earlier in the history of English it meant just “shy” as well as “quiet.” English borrowed the word from medieval French. In French, it comes, by regular changes in sound, from Latin quietus, which—borrowed directly from Latin into English—gives us the word quiet.
Seen and Heard
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