sheep·​ish | \ ˈshē-pish How to pronounce sheepish (audio) \

Definition of sheepish

1 : resembling a sheep: such as
a : meek, timid
b : stupid
2 : affected by or showing embarrassment caused by consciousness of a fault a sheepish grin

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Other Words from sheepish

sheepishly adverb
sheepishness noun

Examples of sheepish in a Sentence

He felt a little sheepish. a sheepish scholar who is most comfortable when surrounded by books
Recent Examples on the Web The hosts took the lead just before half-time, Lasse Schone firing a long-range free kick towards goal which bobbled beyond a sheepish Pepe Reina., "Genoa 1-2 Milan: Report, Ratings & Reaction as I Rossoneri Battle to Dramatic Victory," 5 Oct. 2019 The stranger is a twentysomething Rite Aid cashier wearing a Santa Claus outfit and a sheepish half-smile. Alex Pappademas, The New Yorker, "A Reconsideration of Santa’s Lap," 19 Dec. 2019 Who knew a simple twist in dialect would leave Nagy a touch sheepish? Dan Wiederer,, "Wait ... what exactly was Matt Nagy trying to buy with his Cracker Jack? A Tribune investigation," 28 July 2019 Those smiles, sheepish and secure, speak to the team’s continued adherence to the Warrior way, even in the face of defeat. Sean Gregory/oakland, Time, "The Golden State Warriors Revolutionized the NBA. Now They Plan to Keep the Dynasty Dream Alive," 20 June 2019 Yes, Ukraine, under its previous government, more or less tried to interfere in the 2016 election and felt quite sheepish about it. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Trump’s Impeachment Will Be Trump’s Fault," 23 Oct. 2019 Audra Melton for The New York Times The question is often whispered, the questioners sheepish. New York Times, "How Anti-Vaccine Sentiment Took Hold in the United States," 23 Sep. 2019 And don’t be sheepish, backpacking is a great time to go wild with your guilty pleasure foods as your body will need to restore proteins, fats, and salts after long days of strenuous activity. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "How To Eat Well on Your Next Backpacking Trip," 7 Sep. 2019 Park Hye-hi, the 10-year-old, wore pink glasses, white-and-pink Nikes and a sheepish smile. Victoria Kim,, "Come hike the demilitarized zone between the Koreas. Please watch your step," 25 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sheepish.' 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 sheepish

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sheepish

Time Traveler

The first known use of sheepish was in the 13th century

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Statistics for sheepish

Last Updated

2 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sheepish.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for sheepish


How to pronounce sheepish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sheepish

: showing or feeling embarrassment especially because you have done something foolish or wrong


sheep·​ish | \ ˈshē-pish How to pronounce sheepish (audio) \

Kids Definition of sheepish

1 : like a sheep (as in being meek or shy)
2 : feeling or showing embarrassment especially over being discovered having done something wrong or foolish a sheepish look

Other Words from sheepish

sheepishly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on sheepish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sheepish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sheepish

Spanish Central: Translation of sheepish

Nglish: Translation of sheepish for Spanish Speakers

Comments on sheepish

What made you want to look up sheepish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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