gun-shy

adjective
\ ˈgən-ˌshī How to pronounce gun-shy (audio) \

Definition of gun-shy

1 : afraid of loud noise (such as that of a gun)
2 : markedly distrustful, afraid, or cautious

First Known Use of gun-shy

1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About gun-shy

Time Traveler for gun-shy

Time Traveler

The first known use of gun-shy was in 1884

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near gun-shy

gunshot

gun-shy

gunsight

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for gun-shy

Cite this Entry

“Gun-shy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gun-shy. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on gun-shy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gun-shy

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!