coy

adjective
\ 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)

transitive verb

obsolete : caress

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 Bezos, meanwhile, remains somewhat coy about Blue Origin's goals. Alex Weprin, Billboard, 20 July 2021 As to when Windows 11 might arrive, Microsoft has been a bit coy on the matter. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 28 June 2021 While Moltres is evil and Articuno is smug and coy, Galarian Zapdos is simply speed. Joe Parlock, Forbes, 18 June 2021 There, as in other films by Lab participants and alumni, the epiphanies that come from recording people and events with minimal intervention are balanced, and sometimes eclipsed, by the coy rigidity of the conceptual frameworks. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 17 June 2021 The actor previously remained coy about his participation in the upcoming revival, which will be executive produced by Parker, 56, as well as her costars Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon. Ally Mauch, PEOPLE.com, 26 May 2021 Cameras zoomed in on an actress playing a dealer of fine art — chicly dressed in a pencil skirt made from bold African textiles — who offered a coy smile as an old flame stepped into her gallery. New York Times, 10 May 2021 Murkowski filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on March 9 but has not officially announced her reelection bid and has been somewhat coy about her 2022 intentions. Manu Raju And Alex Rogers, CNN, 19 Apr. 2021 Trump has remained coy about his plans for the next presidential election, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, has welcomed his help in the midterm elections. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, 14 Apr. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near coy

coxy

coy

coydog

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Statistics for coy

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coy. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for coy

coy

adjective

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

coy

adjective
\ ˈkȯi How to pronounce coy (audio) \

Kids Definition of coy

: falsely shy or modest

More from Merriam-Webster on coy

Nglish: Translation of coy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coy for Arabic Speakers

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