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1

shy

play
adjective \ˈshī\

Simple Definition of shy

  • : 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.

Full Definition of shy

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

  1. 1 :  easily frightened :  timid

  2. 2 :  disposed to avoid a person or thing <publicity shy>

  3. 3 :  hesitant in committing oneself :  circumspect

  4. 4 :  sensitively diffident or retiring :  reserved; also :  expressive of such a state or nature <a shy smile>

  5. 5 :  secluded, hidden

  6. 6 :  having less than the full or specified amount or number :  short <just shy of six feet tall>

  7. 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>.

2

shy

intransitive verb

Definition of shy

shiedshy·ing

  1. 1 :  to develop or show a dislike or distaste —usually used with from or away from <an author who shies away from publicity>

  2. 2 :  to start suddenly aside through fright or alarm



1649

First Known Use of shy

1649


3

shy

noun

Definition of shy

plural shies

  1. :  a sudden start aside (as from fright)



1791

First Known Use of shy

1791


4

shy

verb

Definition of shy

shiedshy·ing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to make a sudden throw

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to throw (an object) with a jerk :  fling



Origin of shy

perhaps from 1shy


First Known Use: 1787


5

shy

noun

Definition of shy

plural shies

  1. 1 :  the act of shying :  toss, throw

  2. 2 :  a verbal fling or attack

  3. 3 :  cockshy



1791

First Known Use of shy

1791




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