Dictionary

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
SHYING Defined for Kids

1shy

adjective \ˈshī\
shi·er or shy·ershi·est or shy·est

Definition of SHY for Kids

1
:  not feeling comfortable meeting and talking to people <a shy awkward boy>
2
:  easily frightened :  timid <a shy kitten>
3
:  showing a dislike of attention <a shy face>
4
:  tending to avoid something or someone <I'm camera shy. Don't take my picture.>
5
:  having less than a full or an expected amount or number <We were shy about ten dollars.>
shy·ly adverb <She smiled shyly.>
shy·ness noun

Synonym Discussion of SHY

shy and bashful mean feeling awkward around others. shy is used of someone who doesn't want to meet or talk with people either by habit or for special reasons. <New students are often shy.> bashful is used of someone who is shy and afraid like a very young child. <He was too bashful to ask for a dance.>

2shy

verb
shiedshy·ing

Definition of SHY for Kids

1
:  to avoid or draw back in dislike or distaste <He shied from publicity.>
2
:  to move quickly to one side in fright <The horse shied at the thunder.>

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Next Word in the Dictionary: shyishPrevious Word in the Dictionary: shwrAll Words Near: shy
July 06, 2015
categorical Hear it
absolute or relating to a category
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