once bitten, twice shy

Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of once bitten, twice shy

used to mean that a person who has failed or been hurt when trying to do something is careful or fearful about doing it again

Word by Word Definitions

once play
  1. : one time and no more

  2. : at any one time : under any circumstances : ever

  3. : at some indefinite time in the past : formerly

  1. : one single time : one time at least

  1. : that once was : former

  1. : at the moment when : as soon as

bite play bitten
  1. : to seize especially with teeth or jaws so as to enter, grip, or wound

  2. : to wound, pierce, or sting especially with a fang or a proboscis

  3. : to cut or pierce with or as if with an edged weapon

  1. : the act of biting

  2. : the manner of biting

  3. : food: such as

twice play
  1. : on two occasions

  2. : two times : in doubled quantity or degree

shy play
  1. : easily frightened : timid

  2. : disposed to avoid a person or thing

  3. : hesitant in committing oneself : circumspect

  1. : to develop or show a dislike or distaste

  2. : to start suddenly aside through fright or alarm

  1. : a sudden start aside (as from fright)

  1. : to make a sudden throw

  2. : to throw (an object) with a jerk : fling

  1. : the act of shying : toss, throw

  2. : a verbal fling or attack

  3. : cockshy


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