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

Examples of gun-shy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Price of Entry Apart from elevated risks, there are several other reasons why international firms are likely to remain gun-shy about India. Arvind Subramanian, Foreign Affairs, 9 Dec. 2022 Digital transformation made employers more selective and gun-shy about entry-level hiring, but generative AI will take it to a new level. Ryan Craig, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gun-shy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gun-shy was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near gun-shy

Cite this Entry

“Gun-shy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gun-shy. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: afraid of loud noise (as that of a gun)
: being distrustful, afraid, or cautious

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