\ ˈkȯi How to pronounce coy (audio) \

Definition of coy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : marked by cute, coquettish, or artful playfulness using coy tricks to attract attention
b : shrinking from contact or familiarity "'Tis but a kiss I beg, Why art thou coy?"— William Shakespeare
2 : showing reluctance to make a definite commitment a coy response

coy

verb
coyed; coying; coys

Definition of coy (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

archaic : to act coyly (see coy entry 1)

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Other Words from coy

Adjective

coyly adverb
coyness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for coy

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

  • uncoy
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Choose the Right Synonym for coy

Adjective

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

Examples of coy in a Sentence

Adjective 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Meanwhile, director Julia Hart played coy with the outlet when asked about sequel chances. Martha Sorren, refinery29.com, "There’s Already A Full Blue Print For A Stargirl Sequel," 16 Mar. 2020 The firms are understandably coy about revealing their clients’ identities. The Economist, "Computer security Offering software for snooping to governments is a booming business," 12 Dec. 2019 Abrams is not the only of Biden’s potential V.P. picks to dispatch with coy, noncommittal answers when questions about the job arise. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "Why Stacey Abrams Would Like to Be Vice-President," 6 May 2020 Esther is in love with literally the boy next door, John (Tom Drake), who is too clueless to comprehend her coy ardor. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "Home theater: Escape into the joyous world of musicals," 22 Apr. 2020 This coy term refers to methane hydrates, the natural-gas-and-water version of an overall category called clathrates. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "The Ground Is Filled with Fire Ice. What Happens If We Pull It All Out?," 21 Apr. 2020 But that coy comment would seem to indicate that Fuku has indeed come to Portland Fuku and its Momofuku restaurant group have not responded to emails sent from The Oregonian Friday and Monday. oregonlive, "David Chang’s Fuku debuts on Portland delivery apps," 14 Apr. 2020 Despentes doesn’t play along, doesn’t go coy or smile. Nadja Spiegelman, The New York Review of Books, "As Clean as Rage," 8 Apr. 2020 Somewhere, some coy strategist has probably run the numbers on what former Republican governor Nikki Haley would do for Biden’s ticket — potentially recruiting a conservative vote or two in purple swing states. Monica Hesse, Washington Post, "Biden’s promise of a female vice president was a good thing. So why does it feel so lame?," 16 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coy

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for coy

Adjective and Verb

Middle English, quiet, shy, from Anglo-French quoi, quei, koi quiet, from Latin quietus

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Time Traveler for coy

Time Traveler

The first known use of coy was in the 14th century

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Statistics for coy

Last Updated

4 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coy. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for coy

How to pronounce coy (audio)

English Language Learners 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
\ ˈkȯi How to pronounce coy (audio) \

Kids Definition of coy

: falsely shy or modest

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More from Merriam-Webster on coy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coy

Spanish Central: Translation of coy

Nglish: Translation of coy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coy for Arabic Speakers

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