shy


1shy

adjective \ˈshī\

: feeling nervous and uncomfortable about meeting and talking to people

: showing that you are nervous and uncomfortable about meeting and talking to people

: tending to avoid something because of nervousness, fear, dislike, etc.

shi·er or shy·er \ˈshī(-ə)r\ shi·est or shy·est \ˈshī-əst\

Full Definition of SHY

1
:  easily frightened :  timid
2
:  disposed to avoid a person or thing <publicity shy>
3
:  hesitant in committing oneself :  circumspect
4
:  sensitively diffident or retiring :  reserved; also :  expressive of such a state or nature <a shy smile>
6
:  having less than the full or specified amount or number :  short <just shy of six feet tall>
7
:  disreputable <gambling hells and shy saloons — Blackwood's>
shy·ly adverb
shy·ness noun

Examples of SHY

  1. I was painfully shy as a teenager.
  2. She was too shy to ask for help.
  3. He gave her a shy smile.
  4. Help yourself if you want more. Don't be shy.

Origin of SHY

Middle English schey, from Old English scēoh; akin to Old High German sciuhen to frighten off
First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of SHY

shy, bashful, diffident, modest, coy mean not inclined to be forward. shy implies a timid reserve and a shrinking from familiarity or contact with others <shy with strangers>. bashful implies a frightened or hesitant shyness characteristic of childhood and adolescence <a bashful boy out on his first date>. diffident stresses a distrust of one's own ability or opinion that causes hesitation in acting or speaking <felt diffident about raising an objection>. modest suggests absence of undue confidence or conceit <modest about her success>. coy implies a pretended shyness <put off by her coy manner>.

2shy

intransitive verb
shiedshy·ing

Definition of SHY

1
:  to develop or show a dislike or distaste —usually used with from or away from <an author who shies away from publicity>
2
:  to start suddenly aside through fright or alarm

First Known Use of SHY

1649

3shy

noun
plural shies

Definition of SHY

:  a sudden start aside (as from fright)

First Known Use of SHY

1791

4shy

verb
shiedshy·ing

Definition of SHY

intransitive verb
:  to make a sudden throw
transitive verb
:  to throw (an object) with a jerk :  fling

Origin of SHY

perhaps from 1shy
First Known Use: 1787

5shy

noun
plural shies

Definition of SHY

1
:  the act of shying :  toss, throw
2
:  a verbal fling or attack
3
:  cockshy

First Known Use of SHY

1791

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