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)

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Following the wedding, Jonas and Turner remained coy about the event and chose to only share one photo with the public at the time. Alex Gurley, PEOPLE.com, 13 May 2022 Still, the quality of the script and the coy use of the choral score, swooning in for big emotions in intimate settings, such as a night-time walk on the beach, overcome such shortcomings. Robert Daniels, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 When asked whether a bidding war ensued when the family left E!, Jenner remains coy. Elizabeth Wagmeister, Variety, 10 Mar. 2022 While her followers ran through a list of options, Blake kept his lips sealed and only dropped a coy eye emoji. Katherine Tinsley, Good Housekeeping, 3 Mar. 2022 Even for comic-book geeks, the crush of winking jokes and coy references to more respectable quadrants of the DC universe begin to feel overdone, narrowing the project's appeal. Brian Lowry, CNN, 15 Jan. 2022 Indeed, in an age of unfettered, albeit often heavily filtered, access to everyone and everything, sometimes the most tantalizing proposal is merely a coy suggestion. New York Times, 21 Mar. 2022 Since warm Chicago weather has been so frustratingly coy about arriving, and then sticking around, this film arrives as a reminder of two contradictory romantic truths: Spring is the season of rebirth and renewal. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 26 Apr. 2022 Agrawal was none too coy about this in his public statements. Abram Brown, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Coy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coy. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for coy

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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